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  • Inclusive Society Institute participates in the C20 Brazil

    The C20 is the recognised civil society body that feeds into the G20 deliberations. The Inclusive Society Institute is participating therein. The G20 is meeting later this year in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.   In preparation for the G20 meeting the C20 inception meeting was held in recife, Brazil, from 26 – 28 March 2024. A number of roundtable discussions were held and followed up by discipline specific workshops. Topics discussed were:   Inclusive, anti-racist and democratic economies to eliminate inequalities within and between countries Civil Society response to the Triple Planetary Crisis Promoting Indivisible Rights with regard to health, education and culture, and access to technology The role of international cooperation and philanthropy in financing sustainable development   The are 10 working groups, namely:   Fair, Inclusive and Anti-Racist Economies Food Systems, Hunger and Poverty Environment, Climate Justice and Just Energy Transition Sustainable and Resilient Communities and Disaster Risk Reduction Integrated Health for All Education and Culture Digitalization and Technology Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Philanthropy and Sustainable Development SDG16 – Democratic Governance, Civic Space, Anti-Corruption and Access to Justice, in which working group the Inclusive Society Institute is participating.

  • Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Annual Meeting 2024 - Roundtable assessing institutional capacities to deliver in a changing world

    The Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNC) Annual Meeting was held in Tokyo from 19 – 22 June 2024. The Inclusive Society Institute’s Chief Executive Officer, Daryl Swanepoel, was a panellist during the roundtable discussion on Assessing institutional capacities to deliver in a changing world. In an era of shifting geopolitics, the roundtable delve into the evolving roles of intergovernmental institutions on the international stage. The starting point of the discussion was the existing multilateral system centred around the United Nations, and its apparent failure to adequately address today’s global challenges, both traditional peace & security and human security, including sustainable development and human rights. The question to be answered was whether a different configuration of existing institutions and/or new institutional arrangements would allow the tackling of global challenges more efficiently and effectively? The  roundtable attempted to assess the current and potential role of institutions like the G20, BRICS and G7 individually and their interconnections, taking into account the interests of individual states or groups of states, as well as broader human and planetary well-being. The assessment was based on each institution’s performance in terms of challenge/problem identification, awareness-raising, leadership, decision-making and implementation, and grades were allocated according to each institution’s effectiveness, coherence and legitimacy. Other panellists included Richard PONZIO (Stimson Center), Richard KINLEY, who chaired the panel (Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS)),  Cilene Victor DA SILVA (Methodist University of Sao Paulo) and Mohammad Taher Gholi TABAR (University of Religions and Denominations (URD)). Click here for the introductory remarks by Daryl Swanepoel

  • Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Annual Meeting 2024 - Roundtable addressing human security challenges: What would a Global Resilience Council bring?

    The Academic Council on the United Nations System ( ACUNS ) held its annual meeting in Tokyo on 20 – 22 June. The Inclusive Society Institute was represented at the meeting by Chair of the Advisory Council, Ms Buyelwa Sonjica, and International Rapporteur, Dr Klaus Kotzé. ACUNS which seeks to unite people active in the work and study of the United Nations is an important platform to better understand and address the most pressing global issues of our time. By looking at a broader range of global issues such as the effects of climate change, pandemics, human insecurity and extremism, the work of ACUNS not only aligns with that of the Institute, but also offers it the opportunity to raise its own concerns. Under this year’s theme, “Global Governance and Sustainable Development: Revitalising Research to Support Multilateral Solutions”, the meeting recognised the urgent need to maintain and adequately reform the global multilateral arrangement, led by the United Nations. In pursuit of equitable and representative reform, the Institute actively participated in the meeting’s various sessions. It was particularly involved in the panel titled “Addressing human security challenges: What would a Global Resilience Council bring?” This panel, which was chaired by Ms Sonjica, was hosted by the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS). FOGGS, a partner of the Institute in the Global South Perspectives Network, is creatively pursuing pathways to ensure appropriate responses to the inadequacies of the current United Nations framework. The Institute will continue to partner with like-minded organisations to ensure effective solutions that address the myriad challenges the world faces.

  • Is South Africa getting healthier?

    Occasional Paper 4/2024 Copyright © 2024 Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8010 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute. DISCLAIMER Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or those of their respective Board or Council members. MAY 2024 Daryl Swanepoel MPA, BPAHons, ND: Co. Admin Research Fellow, School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University Is South Africa getting healthier? The divide between perception and data-driven evidence (Source: istockphoto.com – Stock photo ID:1678122795) Abstract South Africans do not have faith in government’s capacity to adequately manage the public healthcare system. Public perception is that the healthcare system is failing and that authorities have been proven incapable of providing quality healthcare – and the perceptions are impacting the trust needed to underpin advances towards universal healthcare for all. Moreover, it dampens their enthusiasm for the establishment of the recently enacted National Health Insurance (NHI). This paper evaluates public perception against actual health provision indicators and the trends since the ushering in of South Africa’s democratic dispensation in 1994, in order to determine whether the perceptions and data realities are in sync. It finds that public healthcare still has some way to go, but that it is not regressed, rather it is steadily improving. It does not suggest that the authorities can rest on their laurels; it does provide reassurance that the system is not collapsing. Introduction Statista produces a health and health systems ranking of countries worldwide on an annual basis. In 2023, Singapore, at the number one spot, dominated the ranking of the world's health and health systems. Out of the 167 countries measured, South Africa ranked 129th. African countries that performed better than South Africa were Seychelles (at position 39), Algeria (at position 70), Cabo Verde (at position 73), Tunisia (at position 79), Mauritius (at position 81), Morocco (at position 86), São Tomé and Principe (at position 94), Egypt (at position 107), Kenya (at position 114), Rwanda (at position 116), Senegal (at position 117), Ghana (at position 119), Malawi (at position 121), Ethiopia (at position 122), Namibia (at position 125), Djibouti (at position 126), Sudan (at position 127) and Tanzania (at position 128). Thus South Africa is ranked 19th in Africa (Vankar, N.d.). The Statista health index score evaluates various indicators that assess the health of a nation. It also evaluates access to the services needed to “sustain good health, health outcomes, health systems, sickness and risk factors, and mortality rates” (Vankar, 2024). With regard to Universal Healthcare Coverage, according to the World Health Organisation’s UHC service coverage index, South Africa’s index score was 0.71 out of a possible 1 in 2021. This is slightly above the world average of 0.68 and considerably above the African average of 0.44. This marked a significant increase of 28 points out of 1 over the last two decades, from 0.43 in 2000 to 0.71 in 2021 (WHO, 2024). Figure 1: South Africa’s UHC service coverage ranking (Source: WHO, 2024) Using these two indexes as the yardstick, it is therefore fair to say that in terms of the quality of healthcare, South Africa falls far short of the world standards, but in terms of access to healthcare, South Africa is marginally better than the world average. This paper aims at contextualising the healthcare trajectory in South Africa to enable public policymakers to make informed decisions, and for the public at large to better understand the state of play as it relates to that trajectory. The public perception In the public mind, government is not performing well as it relates to healthcare management in the country. Indeed, in their view, healthcare has been worsening of late. According to the IPSOS Government Performance Barometer (2023), only 16 percent of respondents were of the view that government was performing very well. Only 43 percent were of the view that government was doing an acceptable job (16 percent very well and 27 percent fairly well). Conversely, 55 percent of the respondents were of the view that government wasn’t performing adequately (23 percent not very well and 32 percent not at all well) (IPSOS, 2023). It may be worth mentioning that the lower the household income, the more favourable the view of government’s performance in the provision of healthcare services. Seventy-five percent of respondents with no household income had a favourable view of government’s performance (18 percent very well and 57 percent fairly well). However, for those in the highest household income group the favourable view plummeted to only 46 percent (15 percent very well and 31 percent fairly well) (IPSOS, 2023). Figure 2: Perceptions of government’s ability to manage healthcare (based on income) (Source: IPSOS, 2023 (Data); Author, 2024 (Graphics)) In terms of specific interventions, it appears that the public are more positive with regard to government’s ability to deliver the services. For example: In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, which required the wholesale roll-out of vaccines, it appears the public have faith in government’s ability to manage the distribution of vaccines. More than half of the respondents (57 percent) indicated that they have a favourable view with regard to government’s ability to roll-out vaccines. Forty percent did not have a favourable view, with the remaining three percent not having an opinion one way or the other. Similarly, in fact more so, the public have a favourable view with regard to government’s ability to address the problem of HIV/Aids. Sixty-three percent of respondents indicated that they thought that government was addressing the HIV/Aids problem fairly well (28 percent) or very well (35 percent). Conversely, only 33 percent (14 percent not very well, 19 percent not well at all) did not think that government was managing the HIV/Aids problem well. (IPSOS, 2024) Once again, the data would suggest that the lower the household income, the more favourable the view as to government’s performance to manage specific interventions such as the distribution of vaccines and/or the management of pandemics such as HIV/Aids. That said, in this regard the margins of difference between the various income groups are far less stark, in that there is an overall favourable view across all income groups. This is illustrated in the graphic (Figure 3) below. Figure 3: Perceptions of government’s healthcare interventions’ capacity (based on income) (Source: IPSOS, 2023 (Data); Author, 2024 (Graphics)) What does the data say? The data tells us that since the advent of the new democratic dispensation in 1994, the authorities have both qualitatively and quantitively improved healthcare in South Africa. In this paper, qualitative improvements in the delivery of the healthcare system are demonstrated by the improvement of people’s health and mortality, and quantitative improvements are demonstrated by the improvement of resources made available to implement the country’s healthcare system. And both show that the country has systematically become a healthier place in which to live. Healthier, but still with much room for improvement when measured against its peers, for example in BRICS: Whereas South Africa scored 59.9 on the Statista Health Index, Brazil scored 71.7, Russia 71.4, India 66.2, and China 83.1 (Vankar, 2024). And in terms of universal healthcare coverage, whereas South Africa scored 0.71 on the WHO’s UHC service coverage index, most of its peers in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China) scored considerably better: Brazil 0.80, Russia 0.79, India 0.63 and China 0.81 (WHO, 2024). Figure 4: BRICS Health Indexes comparative performance (Source: Statista: Vankar, 2024; WHO, 2024 (Data); Graphics (Author, 2024)) Qualitative improvements Maternal health In the last two decades alone, the rate of still births has declined by 22 percent, from 27 per one thousand in 2001 to 21 per one thousand in 2022. The infant and under-five mortality rates have declined by a massive 56 percent and 58,9 percent respectively. The infant mortality rate is the number of children under the age of one year that die annually, and under-five mortality rate the number of children under the age of five years that die annually. With regard to the infant mortality rate, there were 55,2 children per one thousand children under the age of one that died in 2002. This reduced to 24,3 in 2022, representing an improvement of some 56 percent in the last two decades (CRA, 2023a). With regard to the under-five mortality rate, there were 74,7 children per one thousand children under the age of five that died in 2002, which reduced to 30,7 children per one thousand children under the age of five in 2022, representing an improvement of some 34 percent in the last two decades. In 1990, the under-five mortality rate was 59,2, which reduced to 32,8 in 2021, thus reducing by a substantial 44,6 percent over the period (CRA, 2023a). The pneumonia rates in children under the age of five have also improved considerably over the last two decades. Whilst the actual number of admissions has increased slightly since 2011 – that is, from 39 465 to 40 588 in 2022 or some three percent (CRA, 2023a) – the under-five population has grown by around five percent, from 5,542 million in 2011 to 5,812 million, over the same period (Unicef, N.d). The case fatality rate reduced from 5,8 percent in 2011 to 1,7 percent in 2022 (CRA, 2023a), that is an improvement of some 59 percent. The statistics for diarrhoea in children under five are similar, where the case fatality rate has reduced from 4,3 percent in 2013 to 1,8 percent in 2022 (CRA, 2023a), representing an improvement of some 58 percent over the last decade alone. Figure 5: Qualitative improvements in maternal health – stillborn and mortalities (Source: CRA, 2023 (Data); Author, 2024 (Graphics)) Figure 6: Qualitative improvements in maternal health – Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (Source: CRA, 2023 (Data); Author, 2024 (Graphics)) Selected diseases There have been significant improvements in the treatment of disease. In 1996, just after the transition to the new democratic dispensation, the death as a proportion of malaria cases was 0,6 percent. This has remained more or less constant, fluctuating slightly up or down over the period 1996 to 2022. It was 0,8 percent in 2022. In 1996, just after the transition, there were 27 035 measles cases in South Africa. Whilst it increased to peak at 64 622 cases in 2000, it has since come down to 4 109 cases in 2022 (CRA, 2023a). Put otherwise, if one takes into consideration the increase in population, from 40,6 million as per the 1996 census (Stats SA, 1996) to the population as per the 2022 census, namely 60,6 million (Stats SA, 2023), the ratio of cases to population in 1996 was 1:1501 and 1:15089 – tenfold improvement. That said, the health system remains vulnerable to unforeseen outbreaks. The tuberculosis prevalence rate – that is, the number of people with TB per 100 thousand people – has improved significantly. In 1994 it was 444; in 2019 it was 360. This represents an improvement of around 19 percent. And the TB death rate has remained more or less constant since 1994, where the number of deaths owing to TB reported in that year per 100 000 people was 42. It declined by around ten percent to 38 in 2021. Whilst the proportion of the total population living with HIV has increased from 8,1 percent in 2002 to 13,9 percent in 2022 – a 72 percent increase – the total number of new infections per year has more than halved since 2009. In 2009 there were 417 313 new cases recorded, which reduced to 187 394 in 2023. So too, due to the massive roll-out of ARTs, the HIV-related deaths of children under the age of five has shown a sharp decline, from 13 000 deaths in 1996 to 2 100 deaths in 2022 (CRA, 2023a). Mortality and life expectancy Mortality and life expectancy is largely the consequence of lifestyle and healthier living. The healthier one is, the longer one lives. The better the healthcare system and access to it, the better one’s ability to live a healthy life, and thus live longer. The mortality rate in South Africa suffered a serious setback over the period 1994 to 2008. In 1994 the number of deaths per one thousand of the population was 8,6 (Macrotrends, N.d.). Then the country was struck by HIV/Aids, which ravaged the South African nation. The death rate per one thousand of the population rose sharply, peaking at 13,9 per thousand of the population in 2008 (CRA, 2023b). Since then, following the mass roll-out of healthcare interventions aimed at stemming the impact of HIV/Aids, it has steadily declined and stood at 8,8 per thousand of the population in 2020, more or less the same as in 1994. It again showed a marginal regression over the period 2020 to 2022 by rising to around 11 per one thousand of the population (CRA, 2023b) – the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The cumulative Covid-related deaths in 2023 stood at 102 595. The UN, however, projects that the death rate per one thousand of the population will improve by the end of this year (2024) to just over 9 per thousand of the population, once again, more or less in line with the 1994 rate (Macrotrends, N.d.). The data related to life expectancy, on the other hand, tells a different and more positive story. In 2002, the life expectancy of a South African by birth was 55,5 years. This has improved by 13,2 percent since then. The life expectancy of a South African increased to 62,8 years in 2022 (CRA, 2023b). In 2020 life expectancy was in fact even higher at 65,4 years but declined during the Covid-19 pandemic and is steadily recovering to pre-pandemic levels. Figure 7: Mortality rate in South Africa (2002-2022) (Source: Stats SA (2022)) The life expectancy of South African women has always been higher than South African men, but the gap has also steadily been widening in favour of women. Since 2002 their life expectancy has improved by 14,1 percent, whereas their male compatriots’ life expectancy over the same period has improved by 12,8 percent. Quantitative improvements In this section the financial, human and physical resources made available by the state to implement its healthcare mandate will be examined, as well an assessment as to whether efficiencies have improved. Improvement in resourcing Financial resources In 1996/7, just after the transition to the new democratic dispensation, R24,8 billion was allocated in the national budget to provincial and national health expenditure. The population at the time was 40,58 million (Stats SA, 1996). Accounting for inflation, this would amount to R115,1 billion in present day value (Crause, N.d.). The amount spent by the state on healthcare per citizen thus amounted to around R611 per citizen. It equated to 3,4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Accounting for inflation, this would amount to R2,882 per citizen (1996/7) in present day value (Crause, N.d.). The allocation grew to R255 billion rand in 2024, which amounted to 3,6 percent of GDP. The population in 2024 is estimated to have grown to 62,47 million (Statista, N.d.). The amount spent by the state on healthcare per citizen thus amounted to around R4,082 per citizen (2024). Therefore, not only has the budget allocation more than doubled in real terms (present day value) over the last three decades, the amount spent per citizen in real terms (present day value) increased by one and a half times over the same period. And the percentage of GDP spent on public healthcare in South Africa rose marginally since transitioning to the new democratic dispensation in 1994. People to public doctor ratio In the year 2000 there were 11 473 doctors in the public healthcare system. This rose sharply by 93 percent to reach 22 158 in 2022, almost double (CRA, 2023a). In 2002, there were approximately 3 808 people per public doctor in the public healthcare system. The people to public doctor ratio, came down sharply since then. In 2022 there were 2 735 people per doctor in the public healthcare system, equating to an improvement of 28 percent over the period (CRA, 2023a). Therefore, not only were the authorities able to increase the number of doctors to keep up with population growth, but they also managed to improve the people to public doctor ratio considerably. People to public nurse ratio In the year 1998 there were 123 755 nurses in the public healthcare system. This number of nurses in the public healthcare system rose sharply since then, to reach 271 047 in 2022, a weighty 119 percent increase (CRA, 2023a). In 2002, there were approximately 340 people per nurse in the public healthcare system. The people to public nurse ratio, came down sharply since then. In 2022 there were 244 people per public nurse in the public healthcare system, also equating to an improvement of around 28 percent over the period (CRA, 2023a). Therefore, not only were the authorities able to increase the number of nurses to keep up with population growth, but they also managed to improve the people to public nurse ratio considerably. Other public healthcare professionals Across most healthcare professions the people to healthcare professional ratio has, as in the public doctor and public nurse ratios, shown significant improvements. The people to public pharmacist ratio has reduced from 40 263:1 in 2000, to 10 491:1 in 2022. The people to registered physiotherapist ratio has reduced from 9 459:1 in 2007, to 7 100:1 in 2023. The people to registered radiographer ratio has reduced from 8 686:1 in 2007, to 7 030:1 in 2023. (CRA, 2023a) Figure 9: Quantitative improvements – People/healthcare professional illustration of proportional change (Source: Author, 2024) Improvement in efficiencies In-patient hospital bed utilisation rate In 2015 the in-patient bed utilisation rate in South African public and private hospitals was 72 percent. In 2022 it reduced to 65,9 percent, a reduction of around six percent (CRA, 2023a). Viewed through a negative lens, it means that there has been a six percent reduction in the utilisation of available beds over the period; viewed through a positive lens, there is significant capacity within the system for the foreseeable future to accommodate in-patients. Average length of stay in public hospitals In 2008, the average number of days that a patient spent in a public hospital was 6,4 days. This reduced marginally to 6,1 days in 2022 (CRA, 2023a). This represents a marginal improvement in in-hospital efficiency. Vaccination and immunisation of children Over the last five years alone, the percentage of children receiving their prescribed vaccinations – that is, the DTaPb -IPVc -Hibd HBVe 3rd dose coverage – rose from 76,6 percent in 2018, to 87,6 percent in 2022 (CRA, 2023a). Antenatal clients initiated on ART The antenatal clients initiated on ART rate measures antenatal clients on ART as a proportion of the total number of antenatal clients who are HIV positive and not previously on ART. In 2015, 91,2 percent of people requiring ART received the treatment, which rose to 95 percent in 2022 (CRA, 2023a). Conclusion Readers of this paper are cautioned not to conclude that public healthcare in South Africa is in a good space and that the authorities have the luxury to rest on their laurels. They do not! Public healthcare in South Africa still has some way to go before standards comply with acceptable international benchmarks. What this paper does find is that: There have been considerable qualitative improvements in public healthcare since the advent of the new democratic dispensation in 1994. There are fewer still births, the infant mortality rate has improved, as has the under-five mortality rate. Pneumonia rates in children have come down, as has the rate of diarrhoea in children under five. There have also been significant improvements in the treatment of diseases such as malaria, measles, tuberculosis and HIV. And South Africans are on average living considerably longer. There have been significant quantitative improvements in public healthcare resourcing since 1994. The people to public doctor ratio has improved considerably, as has the people to public nurse ratio. This, in fact, holds true across most public healthcare professions. There have also been marked improvements in public healthcare efficiencies. Both the in-patient hospital bed utilisation rate and the average length of stay of patients in public hospitals have improved marginally. Vaccination and immunisation of children has risen sharply, and antenatal clients initiated on ART is close to universal coverage. The fiscus has been responsive in providing the necessary funding for the public healthcare system, not to just keep up staffing levels and efficiencies as inherited at the transition in 1994, but to indeed improve on those levels and efficiencies. What this paper offers: A contextualisation as to the real, and not perceived, public healthcare environment in South Africa. It ought to assist policymakers in their planning going forward; and It ought also, should the content be effectively communicated to the broader public, enable them to understand that the provision of public healthcare in the country has systematically improved over the last three decades. This paper does not suggest all is good in the public healthcare system in South Africa; it does provide reassurance. References Centre for Risk Analysis (CRA). 2023a. Socio-Economic Outlook: Health October 2023. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://cra-sa.com/products/socio-economic-survey/2024/files/health-october-2023.pdf [accessed: 25 May 2024] Centre for Risk Analysis (CRA). 2023b. Socio-Economic Outlook: Demographics November 2023. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://cra-sa.com/products/socio-economic-survey/2024/files/health-october-2023.pdf [accessed: 25 May 2024] Crause, R. N.d. Inflation adjustment calculator. [Online] Available at: https://inflationcalc.co.za/?date1=1996-04-01&date2=2024-04-01&amount=24400000000 [accessed: 26 May 2024] IPSOS. 2023. Government Performance Barometer. Khayabus Survey 2023. Johannesburg: IPSOS Macrotrends. N.d. South Africa Death Rate 1950 – 2024. [Online] Available at: https://www.macrotrends.net/global-metrics/countries/ZAF/south-africa/death-rate [accessed: 25 May 2024] Statista. N.d. South Africa: Total population from 2019 to 2129. [Online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/578867/total-population-of-south-africa/ [accessed: 26 May 2024] Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). 1996. The people of South Africa population census 1996. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://apps.statssa.gov.za/census01/census96/html/CIB/CIB1996.pdf [accessed: 25 May 2024] Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). 2022. STATISTICAL RELEASE P0302  Mid-year population estimates 2022. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.ectreasury.gov.za/upload/2022%20Mid-year%20Population%20Estimates%20-%20STATS%20SA--.pdf  [accessed: 25 May 2024] Statistics South Results 10 October 2023 Africa (Stats SA). 2023.  MEDIA RELEASE: Census 2022 Population Count.  [Online] Available at: https://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=16716#:~:text=The%20Census%202022%20results%20show,is%20the%20largest%20since%201996. [accessed: 25 May 2024] Unicef, N.d. How many children are there in South Africa? [Online] Available at: https://data.unicef.org/how-many/how-many-children-under-18-are-there-in-south-africa/ [accessed: 25 May 2024] Vankar, P. 2024. Ranking of health and health systems of countries worldwide in 2023. [Online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1376359/health-and-health-system-ranking-of-countries-worldwide/ [accessed: 25 May 2024] World Health Organisation. 2024. UHC service coverage index. [Online] Available at: https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/indicators/indicator-details/GHO/uhc-index-of-service-coverage [accessed: 25 May 2024] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. Email: info@inclusivesociety.org.za Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589 Web: www.inclusivesociety.org.za

  • Brainstorming session on approaches to United Nations reform

    The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) organised a brainstorming session between the Institute for Global Dialogue (IDG), the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS), the Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF) and themselves on Tuesday 11 June 2024, in order to enhance the synchronisation of approaches to UN reform. The IDG and TMF team was led by Dr Philani Mthembu (IDG Executive Director, whilst the FOGGS team was led by their Executive Director, Dr Georgios Kostakos. The ISI team was led by its Chief Executive Officer, Daryl Swanepoel. The objective of the session was to assess the feasibility and desirability of the UN reform proposals of the various participants, and tom assess areas of overlap and compatibility of the proposals. The aim was to determine whether there is potential for collaboration going forward. On reflection it was agreed that there was a high level of compatibility and that the next step to forge the modalities of the collaboration should be set in motion.

  • Social Cohesion study visit to Helsinki, Finland

    The Inclusive Society Institute’s (ISI), Chief Executive Officer, Mr Daryl Swanepoel and research associate Ms Nicola Bergsteedt are undertaking a study into managing diverse communities. The second visit of the four case studies was to Helsinki, Finland from 3 to 8 July 2024. A major focus of the learnings from this trip was the social cohesion between Swedish-speaking Finns and Finnish-speaking Finns. The ISI team explored various initiatives and avenues that drive this harmony, highlighting Finland's robust commitment to inclusivity. One of the key engagements was with the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman, Ms Kristina Stenman, where the ISI team gained comprehensive insights into Finland's efforts in promoting equality and combating discrimination. This meeting provided an in-depth understanding of the country's policies and initiatives. Additionally, the team had the opportunity to engage with a Swedish MP, Hon Mr Mikko Ollikainen MP, to discuss the role and functioning of the Swedish People’s Party (SPP) of Finland in the Finnish Parliament. This was followed by a visit to the SPP’s head office where a meeting was held with the Secretary General, Mr Fredik Guseff. The delegation also paid a visit to the Swedish Assembly, where they were hosted by a team led by its Secretary General, Ms Christina Gestrin This discussion highlighted the unique role and impact of the Swedish Assembly, offering a deeper appreciation of its contribution to Finland's social structure. The visit also included a meeting with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, a delegation led by Ms Minna Säävälä, where discussions centered on policies aimed at fostering economic inclusion and job creation. This was folowed by a meeting with Dr Pasi Saukkonen, a social cohesion policy expert at the Foundation for Cultural Policy Research. The meetings provided valuable knowledge on Finland's strategies to ensure broad economic participation and inclusivity. Overall, the visit to Finland was both engaging and educational, equipping the Inclusive Society Institute with a wealth of knowledge and new perspectives. The insights gained from this trip will be compiled into a comprehensive report, which will form part of ISI's ongoing research series that examines social cohesion in four different countries, that is Singapore, Finland, the United Arab Emirates and a to be identified African country. Through these international explorations, the ISI aims to draw valuable lessons and insights to enhance social cohesion in South Africa.

  • Is South Africa getting safer?

    Occasional Paper 3/2024 Copyright © 2024 Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8010 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute. DISCLAIMER Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or those of their respective Board or Council members. MAY 2024 Daryl Swanepoel MPA, BPAHons, ND: Co. Admin Research Fellow, School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University Is South Africa getting safer? The divide between perception and data-driven evidence (Source – SAPS) Abstract The level of anxiousness with regard to the high levels of crime in South African society is palpable. Public perception is that the authorities have proven to be incapable of stemming the rise in the crime levels – and the perceptions are impacting the trust and the social cohesion that is needed for economic investment and growth, and social stability. This paper evaluates public perception against actual crime trends since the ushering in of South Africa’s democratic dispensation in 1994, in order to determine whether the two are in sync. It finds that crime levels remain stubbornly and worryingly high, but that the tide is slowly turning. There is hope for a safer society. Introduction Ask any South African whether they believe that crime is being adequately addressed by the authorities, and the answer will be no. And, of course, they are right. When one considers the 2023 Crime Index by country, the top ten countries with the highest crime rates are Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Afghanistan, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, El Salvador, Brazil, and Jamaica (Data Pandas, N.d.). This is confirmed in a 2023 report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, an independent civil society organisation that keeps track of crime rates across the globe. According to the index contained in the report, South Africa, with an index score of 7.18, is ranked seventh highest globally in terms of its crime rates (Okafor, 2023). But crime being too high and not being adequately addressed does not equate to it being out of control and/or worsening as a consequence of South Africa being a failing state. In this regard, there is a divide between what people perceive and what data tells us. This paper aims at contextualising the crime trajectory in South Africa to enable public policymakers to make informed decisions, and for the public at large to better understand and evaluate the state of play as it relates to that trajectory. The public perception It is fair to say that South Africans are not at all pleased with government’s current performance as it relates to managing crime in the country. In fact, it riles them. Ipsos’ Government Performance Barometer for 2023 found that 78,27 percent – 55,60 percent, not at all well; 22,67 percent, not very well – of the respondents were of the opinion that government was not doing enough to reduce crime (Ipsos, 2023). And in polling done by Ipsos for the Inclusive Society Institute (ISI), 72 percent – 49 percent strongly disagreed, 23 percent disagreed – of respondents did not agree that crime was being brought under control (ISI, 2023). When people feel unsafe, they start to look elsewhere to settle in order to build a safer future for themselves and their families. And then it is normally those with skills and capital that are able to carve out a future for themselves in safer and more stable societies. This in turn has a negative impact on the economy, which needs skills and capital to prosper. In the same ISI poll referred to earlier, 11 percent of the respondents with higher education and 11,16 percent of the high earners indicated that they were seriously considering emigrating to another country. What does the data say? The data tells us that since the advent of the new democratic order ushered in in 1994, the South African authorities have both qualitatively and quantitatively improved crime management in the country. In this paper, qualitative improvements in the crime management system are demonstrated by the reduction of crime rates, and quantitative by the improvement in the resources made available to combat crime. And both show that the country has systematically become a safer place to live in. Still not safe, but safer. Whilst the actual number of crimes has gone up for certain categories, the ratio of crimes per one hundred thousand of the population has across the range of crime categories come down, in some cases quite dramatically. Qualitative improvements Crimes against the person are down The actual number of murder cases as per official South African Police Services (SAPS) statistics has increased from 25,965 in 1994/5 to 27,494 in 2022/3, that is, by 5,9 percent. However, the population has, according to Statistics South Africa, increased over the same period from 39,477,100 to 60,604,992, or 54 percent (CRA, 2024). A more objective test is the ratio of murders to the size of the population. To this end, the universally used ratio is number of incidents per one hundred thousand of the population. Applied to the murder rate in South Africa, it shows a significant 31,8 percent decrease, from 66 murders per one hundred thousand in 1994/5 to 45 murders per one hundred thousand in 2022/3. This is illustrated in Figure 1 below: Figure 1: Murder ratios 1995 to 2023 (Source – Data: CRA, 2024; own graphics) It is also important to make mention here of the farm attacks and murders in South Africa. Much is made of these gruesome attacks and murders that continue to take place – and rightly so, the spotlight should be on them. And they must be condemned in the strongest terms. But the downside of the disproportionate publicity given to these murders as opposed to the other murders in the country, is that it creates a perception that there is a sinister third hand at play. Some commentators even suggest a genocide of white farmers is taking place (Akinola, 2021). The veracity of the claims presents serious threats to the economy and South Africa’s international standing. And when the claims are made, or repeated, by influential people such as Elon Musk and former President Donald Trump (Hill, 2023), it solidifies the perception that farm attacks are politically engineered with some sinister motive. Again, what does the data say? According to AfriForum statistics, there have since 1994 up until 2020, on average, been 214 farm attacks and 69 farm murders per annum. As a side, it is worth mentioning that in the three years preceding the new democratic dispensation in South Africa the average for farm murders was 64; and in the last three years of available data (2020-2022) it came down to 56 (CRA, 2024). The average number of all murders in South Africa over the three-year period ending 2022 was 24,216. The average number of farm murders over the same period was 56. Therefore, the proportion of farm murders out of all murders was 0,23 percent. The average number of all attempted murders and aggravated robberies in South Africa over the three-year period ending 2022 was 154,896. The average number of farm attacks over the same period was, as already alluded to, 377 (CRA, 2024). Therefore, farm attacks as a proportion of all attempted murders and aggravated robberies was 0,24 percent. How this compares with the overall murder and robbery rate in the country is difficult to determine precisely, since there is a dearth of statistics as to the actual number of people living on farms, that is the farmers, their families, and the farmworkers. What we do know, is that there are approximately 40,000 commercial farming units in South Africa (DALRRD, 2023). So, for hypothetical purposes, to match the overall murder rate in South Africa of 45 per one hundred thousand of the population, a rudimentary calculation, as shown in Box 1 below, based on the 2023 population statistics, would suggest that there would have to be only slightly more than three (3,1 to be precise) people living on each commercial farm unit. Common sense would suggest that there are way more than just 124,000 people – that is, farmers, their families and farm workers – living on farms in South Africa. Bear in mind, there are not only commercial farms in the country. Box 1: Calculation determining number of people needed to live on a farm unit to equal overall murder rate Thus, this paper suggests it to be a fair assumption that the farm murder rate is lower than the overall murder rate in the country. Farm attacks, based on the same hypothetical and rudimentary calculations, it is proffered, also compare favourably, given that, as mentioned above, all attempted murders and aggravated robberies in South Africa over the three-year period ending 2022 averaged 154,895, or 258 per one hundred thousand of the three-year average population. Once again, a rudimentary calculation, as shown in Box 2 below, based on the 2023 population statistics, would suggest that there would have to be only slightly under four  (3,65 to be precise) people living on each commercial farm unit. Common sense would suggest that there are way more than just 146,000 people – that is, farmers, their families and farm workers – living on farms in South Africa. Once again, bear in mind, there are not only commercial farms in the country. Box 2: Calculation determining number of people needed to live on a farm unit to equal overall attempted murder and aggravated robbery rate But for robbery, all the other contact crimes displayed similar trends. This is evidenced from the data set out in Table 1 and illustrated in Figure 2 below: Table 1: Crimes against the person per 100,000 of the population (Source: CRA, 2024) Figure 2: Crimes against the person per 100,000 of the population (Source – Data: CRA, 2024; own graphics) As for robbery with aggravating circumstances, it has increased by 7,6 percent – that is, from 219 to 236 per one hundred thousand of the population. On the other hand, common robbery has decreased by 9,6 percent – that is, from 84 to 76 per one hundred thousand of the population over the period 1994/5 to 2022/3 (CRA, 2024). Contact crime: Overall improvement The overall contact-related crime (against the person, arson and malicious damage to property) ratio per one hundred thousand of the population has improved by a considerable 33,27 percent, from 1,972 to 1,316 per one hundred thousand of the population (CRA, 2024). Property-related crimes are down All categories of property-related crimes have shown impressive improvements since 1994/5, be they residential, business or out of vehicle burglaries. Stock-theft is also down by some two-thirds over the same period. This is clearly demonstrated in Table 2 and illustrated in Figure 3, below: Table 2: Incidents of property-related crimes per 100,000 of the population (Source: CRA, 2024) Figure 3: Incidents of property-related crimes per 100,000 of the population (Source: CRA, 2024; own graphics) All in all, the annual number of all property-related crimes came down by 42,64 percent since 1994/5, from 655,476 since then to 375,970 in 2022/3. When measuring it based on incident per one hundred thousand of the population, it improved by 63 percent, from 1663 in 1994/5 to 620 in 2022/3. Drug-related crimes still a problem One category of crime that seems to have the upper hand over the SAPS is drug-related crime. Drug-related crimes have more than doubled since 1994/5. These crimes have increased from 118 per one hundred thousand of the population in 1994/5 to 262 per one hundred thousand in 2022/3 – that is, an increase of 121,6%. The authorities seemed to have lost the battle in the first decade of the new democratic dispensation and have since failed to get a grip on the problem. These crimes, based on the ratio of crimes per one hundred thousand of the population, rose by 146 percent between 1994/5 and 2019/20, with only a marginal reduction recorded since then. The ratio of drug-related crime has only reduced by just under ten percent since the 2019/20 high. Quantitative improvements Without the necessary resources, no law enforcement agency will be able to beat the perpetrators of crime. They need to have sufficient manpower, infrastructure and equipment. For that, the fiscus needs to provide the necessary finances. In assessing the quantitative progress of the South African crime fighting establishment, this paper evaluates the movements in the staffing of the SAPS and their annual budget allocation, both of which have increased significantly. With regard to the human resources of the SAPS, like the occurrence of crime, the real test is not the actual increase in the size of the SAPS’s personnel, but the ratio of policemen and women to the size of the population. Personnel In terms of personnel, the SAPS have increased their numbers from around 148,000 (Treasury, 1994) in 1994/5 to 187,878 in 2024/5 (Treasury, 2000). That is an increase of around 21 percent over the period. However, South Africa’s population has grown by around 53 percent between 1996 and 2023 – that is, from 40,583,573 in 1996 to 61,988,314 in 2022 (CRA, 2024). Therefore, based on the aforementioned data, the ratio of police officials to one hundred thousand of the population has worsened by around 17 percent from around 364:1 in 1994 to around 303:1 in 2023. That said, the figure of 303 per one hundred thousand of the population, is not, for example, that far off from the European average of 328 per one hundred thousand of the population (O’Keeffe, 2023). And, according to Gareth Newham, head of justice and violence prevention at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), “there’s a limit to how much numbers and ratios can tell us”. He says that: “It’s not about numbers, it's about strategy; it’s about having a clear crime plan” (Cosser, 2023). So, with that in mind, in terms of personnel, it appears that an evaluation of how the SAPS is achieving its staffing objective in terms of the planned number of staff they need to carry out that strategy, will make sense. And in this regard, over the last decade the employment vacancy rates have declined considerably. In 2003/4 the employment vacancy rate was 13,3 percent. There were 160,288 posts approved, of which only 139,023 were filled. In a dramatic turnaround, there was a 0,4 percent over-staffing, with 178,708 posts available and a staff complement of 179,502 in 2022/3 (CRA, 2024). Budget and infrastructure There has been a huge increase in the financial resources made available to the SAPS to combat crime in South Africa. R9,884,000,000 was provided in the 1996/7 Estimate of National Expenditure (Treasury, 1996), which has increased eleven-to-twelve fold, to R113,597,100,000 in the 2024/5 Estimate of National Expenditure (Treasury, 2024). But then again, when adjusting for inflation, one rand in 1996 would be worth R4,37 in 2024. So, the 1996/7 budget would equate to R43,193,080,000 in current value (Webster, 2024). Thus, when considering the aforementioned, when comparing apples with apples, the SAPS, in current day value, spent around R1,064 per citizen in 1996 in keeping them safe, and this grew to R1,818 per citizen in 2024. These calculations are based on a 1996 population of 40,583,573 (CRA, 2024) and a 2024 estimated population of 62,470,000 (Statista, N.d.). Included in the budget have been provisions for the steady increase in the number of police stations to better service the needs of the people, by ensuring that facilities are provided closer to the community. In the recent decade 2011 to 2021, 35 new police stations were built. In 2010 there were 1,120 police stations (SAPS, 2011), which increased to 1,155 in 2021 (SAPS, 2021). Conclusion Readers of this paper are implored not to misinterpret or misrepresent its content and findings. It does not suggest that crime is under control in South Africa. It is not! South Africa continues to have one of the highest crime rates in the world and therefore no effort should be spared by the authorities to get a grip on the combatting of crime. What this paper does find is that: In general, crime levels have been arrested and that the tide has slowly started to turn. The conclusions are drawn by not comparing the actual year-on-year increase in the number of crime incidents, but the ratio of crime incidents per hundred thousand of the population. This is to factor in the impact of the growing population. There remain some categories of crime – robbery with aggravating circumstances and drug-related crimes stand out – that have not yet been curbed. The drug crime statistics are particularly acute. The fiscus has to a large degree been responsive in providing the necessary financial resources for the SAPS to function effectively. Also, in terms of the number of personnel, there no longer appears, measured in terms of SAPS’ own strategic plans and when compared to other jurisdictions, a justification to attribute non-performance to the lack of funds. It is now up to SAPS to improve their operational efficacy. What this paper offers: A contextualisation as to the real, and not perceived, trajectory of crime trends in the country. It ought to assist policymakers in their planning going forward; and It ought also, should the content be effectively communicated to the broader public, enable them to understand that the fight against crime is systematically being stemmed. This paper does not provide comfort; it does provide hope. References Akinola, O. 2021. Farming attacks or ‘White Genocide’? Interrogating the unresolved land question in South Africa. [Online] Available at: https://www.accord.org.za/ajcr-issues/farm-attacks-or-white-genocide-interrogating-the-unresolved-land-question-in-south-africa/ [accessed: 6 April 2024] Centre for Risk Analysis (CRA). 2024. Socio-Economic Survey 2023. Johannesburg: Centre for Risk Analysis Cosser, K. 2023. Still no UN recommended police population ratio – ghost statistic cited again. [Online] Available at: https://africacheck.org/fact-checks/spotchecks/still-no-un-recommended-police-population-ratio-ghost-statistic-cited-again#:~:text=But%20Cebekhulu%2DMakhaza%20then%20compared,law%20and%20order%2C%20he%20said [accessed: 5 April 2024] Data Pandas. N.d. Crime Rate by Country. [Online] Available at: https://www.datapandas.org/ranking/crime-rate-by-country#methodology [accessed: 5 April 2024] Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD). 2023. Abstract of Agricultural Statistics.  [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://old.dalrrd.gov.za/Portals/0/Statistics%20and%20Economic%20Analysis/Statistical%20Information/Abstract%202023.pdf [accessed: 6 April 2024] Hill, G. 2023. What’s the truth about South Africa’s ‘genocide’ of white farmers? [Online] Available at: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/whats-the-truth-about-south-africas-genocide-of-white-farmers/ [accessed: 6 April 2023] Ipsos. 2023. Khayabus Survey: Government Performance Barometer 2023. Johannesburg: Ipsos Inclusive Society Institute (ISI). 2023. GovDem Poll 2023. Cape Town: Inclusive Society Institute Okafor, C. 2023. Top 10 African countries with the highest crime rate. [Online] Available at: https://africa.businessinsider.com/local/lifestyle/top-10-african-countries-with-the-highest-crime-rates/htgcw5f [accessed: 6 April 2024] O’Keeffe, C. 2023. Ireland ‘below European average for police-to-people ratio’. [Online] Available at: https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-41166703.html [accessed: 5 April 2023] South African Police Service (SAPS). 2011. Annual Report 2010/11 South African Police Services. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.saps.gov.za/about/stratframework/annual_report/2010_2011/_work/Annual_Report_2010-2011_part_1.pdf [accessed: 6 April 2024] South African Police Service (SAPS). 2021. South African Police Service Annual Report 2020/2021. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/202201/saps-annual-report-202021.pdf  [accessed: 6 April 2024] Statista. N.d. South Africa: Total population from 2018 to 2028. [Online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/578867/total-population-of-south-africa/ [accessed: 6 April 2024] Treasury. 1996. Budget Review. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/national%20budget/Budget%20Review%201996.pdf [accessed: 5 April 2024] Treasury, 2000. Vote 24 SA Police Services. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/national%20budget/2000/ene/vote_24.pdf [accessed: 5 April 2024] Treasury. 2024. Vote 28 Police. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/National%20Budget/2024/ene/Vote%2028%20Police.pdf [accessed: 5 April 2024] Webster, I. 2024. South Africa Inflation Calculator. [Online] Available at: https://www.in2013dollars.com/south-africa/inflation/1994?amount=1 [accessed: 5 April 2024] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. Email: info@inclusivesociety.org.za Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589 Web: www.inclusivesociety.org.za

  • 30th Anniversary Celebrations of former President Mandela’s Inaugural Speech of 10 May 1994

    On the 10th of May 2024, a ceremony was held at Freedom Park in Pretoria to commemorate the 30th anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela's landmark inaugural address, delivered on that very same date in 1994. The ceremony was a poignant and powerful reflection on the hard-won freedoms and democratic progress that South Africa has achieved over the past three decades. Daryl Swanepoel, the CEO of the Inclusive Society Institute, was invited to deliver a speech, which captured the spirit of Mandela's vision and the ongoing challenges facing the country. Swanepoel spoke about the immense sacrifices and struggles that paved the way for democracy, reminding the audience of the long and arduous journey South Africa has traversed since the dark days of apartheid. He highlighted how Mandela's message of reconciliation, unity, and equality continues to inspire and guide the nation, even as it grapples with stubborn socioeconomic disparities and the need to build a truly inclusive society. Swanepoel's words resonated with the crowd gathered at the historic site, who were moved by his tribute to Mandela's enduring legacy and the unfinished work of transforming South Africa into the just, prosperous, and equitable society that was Mandela's dream. The ceremony was a poignant reminder of the progress made, the work that remains, and the abiding spirit of hope that Mandela's leadership instilled in the hearts of all South Africans. Click here to read the speech by Daryl Swanepoel - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • Food systems approach: Reversing the trajectory of food insecurity in Africa

    Copyright © 2024 Print ISSN: 2960-1541 Online ISSN: 2960-155X Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8000 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute D I S C L A I M E R Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or those of their respective Board or Council members. JANUARY 2024 by Prof Amiena Bayat, Prof Claire Quinn, Prof Julian May & Dr Hemish Govera Original print: New Agenda: South African Journal of Social and Economic Policy, Vol. 2023, No. 90 Published Online: 1 September 2023 Abstract A goal of the United Nations is to end hunger by 2030 but diverse factors, including global warming, conflict and now the war in Ukraine, place that ambition in jeopardy. AMIENA BAYAT, CLAIRE QUINN, JULIAN MAY and HEMISH GOVERA argue that the world can end hunger in Africa if it takes proper note of the framework of the African food systems approach. Introduction The 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes the goal to end world hunger by 2030. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 aims to ensure that everyone has access to enough food that is nutrient-rich throughout the year by 2030, particularly children and the most vulnerable sections of society. The 2030 target to end world hunger, however, is under threat due to a number of issues, including resource shortages, food insecurity, obesity, malnutrition, climate crisis, inequality, conflicts and environmental degradation. These developments will have an adverse effect on food systems, which are predicted to deteriorate, made worse by the conflict in Ukraine (Global Report on Food Crises, 2022). Food security is a condition in which everyone has physical, social and financial access to enough safe, wholesome food that satisfies their nutritional needs and food preferences so that they can lead active, healthy lives at all times (FAO, 1996). Food security also emphasises the significance of eating a balanced diet (Battersby, 2022; FAO, 2004). Three variables affect food security i.e. whether the geographical region produces enough food to feed its population; whether the food supply is steady and able to withstand risks such as droughts; and whether people are able to access food both physically and financially (Johns Hopkins Center for a Liveable Future, 2016). Food availability refers to supply- side factors and is determined by inter alia stock positions, rates of food production and trade performance. People’s access to food considers the economic and physical aspects of the demand side and is concerned with incomes, expenditure, markets and prices. Utilisation deals with food preferences, the quality and safety of diets, and the intra-household distribution of food. The stability of these factors over time and vulnerability to their fluctuations are also important. The stability dimension includes risks and shocks arising from climate change, political instability, economic conditions and pandemics (FSNet- Africa, 2021). In 2020, the High-Level Panel of Experts of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) proposed adding two further dimensions: agency and sustainability. Agency refers to the capacity of individuals and groups to make their voices heard and make decisions about their food systems. Sustainability refers to the long-term viability of the ecological and social bases of food systems (Clapp et al., 2022). If due attention is not paid to all six dimensions, food security cannot be achieved (Battersby, 2022). A food system can be defined as the process that turns natural and human- made resources and inputs into food (Pinstrup-Andersen, 2007). It is the result of all of the activities and interactions that take place along the entire food value chain, which includes the provision of inputs, the production of agricultural products, transportation, processing, retail, wholesale, and food preparation, as well as consumption and disposal (Bendjebbar and Bricas, 2019). Although each food system functions differently, the majority have some of the same fundamental production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management procedures. Along with ensuring food security and nutrition, food systems also need to have a positive impact on the environment and the socioeconomic system. This article highlights the African food systems approach as a conceptual framework to identify and formulate transformative interventions to mitigate food system crises which pose significant current and future risks and challenges for food security in South Africa and Africa as a whole. Food insecurity in Africa According to the British Red Cross (2022), Africa is facing a food crisis that could see 146 million people go hungry due to various enduring reasons. In Africa, food availability is at risk from population increase, soil degradation, conflict, deforestation and urban sprawl which crowds out productive land and limits opportunities to extend cropped areas. When combined, these factors significantly increase the vulnerability of food systems, which impacts food access, availability, use and stability placing millions of people at risk of extreme hunger. Food safety is a major concern: a third of world deaths attributable to food safety are in Africa (Bendjebbar and Bricas, 2019). Conflicts have a detrimental impact on food security. In 2017, conflict and disasters displaced an additional 30.6 million people, which affected the food security of 143 African nations and territories. One impact of conflict is stunting, which affects 34% of children under the age of five in countries affected by conflicts compared to 20% of all children of that age in non-conflict countries (Bendjebbar and Bricas, 2019). In South Africa, households are also facing a food insecurity crisis (Battersby, 2022). According to Statistics South Africa (2022), the percentage of South Africa’s population impacted by moderate food insecurity and the number of people categorised as seriously food insecure was 10.1 million (17.3%), while the number of people with severe food insecurity was 4.1 million (7%) in 2019. Abrahams (2022) concurred that food insecurity is a result of income and affordability levels, with roughly 55.5% of South African households living below the upper bound poverty line in a state of food insecurity. Food insecurity was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which induced lockdowns that significantly disrupted food supply chains and resulted in the loss of lives and revenue. Data from Statistics South Africa (2020) state that around 23.6% of South Africans faced moderate to severe food insecurity in 2020 as a result of Covid-19, while approximately 14.9% experienced severe food insecurity. The pandemic has seriously hindered efforts to achieve South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) and the SDGs aim of eliminating hunger by 2030 (Statistics South Africa, 2020). The food systems approach Food systems differ across multiple dimensions according to how food production, distribution and consumption activities are defined with regard to their impact on the environment, societies and economies. The food systems approach takes a more comprehensive approach to agricultural production and offers a framework for understanding how food system changes relate to food security and the environment. The approach considers the various components of the food system as well as the connections between them. It looks at all activities connected to food production, processing, distribution and consumption on the one hand, and the outcomes of these activities in terms of food security (including nutrition), socioeconomic factors (income, employment) and the environment (biodiversity, climate) on the other. Systems thinking is distinguished by its view of behaviour as an interaction between subsystems in which feedback plays a crucial role, as opposed to a straightforward chain of cause-and-effect interactions. The method emphasises the connections between the many components of the food system and the results of systemic actions in terms of socioeconomics, the environment and climate (FSNet-Africa, 2021). This sets system thinking apart from other techniques where interventions are frequently created to make the most use of the available resources (natural resources, labour, capital). In order to increase efficiency and profitability, this typically entails using technical breakthroughs across companies, industries and/or chains (Van Berkum et al., 2018). Other approaches analyse the effects of interventions on the environment (CO2 emissions), the market (prices, incomes) linked to natural resource depletion, whilst not considering feedback from the ecosystem and/ or socioeconomic system for the farm, industry or chain. Food systems thinking provides a chance to add feedback from outcomes outside of those that directly relate to food production and consumption when analysing the results of policy actions. This way of thinking “steps back” from the scene of the intervention (Van Berkum et al., 2018). Additionally, the food system approach emphasises policy directions that affect the food production system rather than just the value chain (Van Berkum et al., 2018). In some situations, strategies for tackling food and nutrition security have placed an undue emphasis on agriculture, portraying the problem as the result of weak production, market imperfections or poor governance. With the emphasis on boosting food production, bridging yield gaps to increase availability and reducing costs and wastage to promote access, the utilisation and stability dimensions as well as the agency of food system players run the risk of being overlooked. It may also deflect attention from factors that contribute to food security but are unrelated to the food system, such as inequality, poverty and prejudice. These cannot be addressed by traditional food and nutrition policies and necessitate an integrated, intersectoral strategy. The holistic food systems approach is a better analytical model than a strategy that merely takes the production component into account (Van Berkum et al., 2018). FSNet-Africa’s approach to the African food system The Food Systems Research Network for Africa (FSNet-Africa) is a collaboration between the University of Pretoria (UP) – which is host of the African Research Universities Association’s (ARUA’s) Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems – the University of Leeds (UoL) and the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN). FSNet-Africa’s research on African food systems is based on its “Framework for Researching African Food Systems” project, which aims to strengthen the analytical capabilities of food systems researchers through a structured programme of research leadership development. The project presented a conceptual outline of the definitions, components of, and linkages within, the African food systems. It drew on several levels in the operation of food systems and their dynamics and explored the characteristics and challenges confronting the food systems in Africa using the Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA’s) evidence base. In mapping African food systems, the primary drivers influencing food systems in low-income nations fall into seven groups: bio-physical and environmental; socioeconomic; economic; territorial; demographic; infrastructure and technology; and political and governance. Bio-physical and territorial drivers refer to the availability, pollution and climate with regard to natural resources that shape the production side of food production. Examples of demographic drivers include population expansion, urban crawl and population displacement. These factors have a significant impact on food demand with regard to quantity required, type and quality of food consumed and the context in which food is produced. Innovations in technology and infrastructure are crucial factors in the food system influencing both supply and demand. Social traditions, education, health, values and identity are all examples of socio-cultural drivers. They also include culture, religion and rituals. By affecting lifestyles, social norms, attitudes and cultures with regard to food, these have an impact on diets and the food environment. Political factors include government, laws, conflicts and humanitarian crises, which also have an impact on many factors affecting food systems (Bendjebbar and Bricas, 2019). The framework considers the dynamics of growth and development in a particular environment (nation, region, livelihood zone or sub- national district), modifications to infrastructure and technologies, drivers of power and governance at local, national and international levels, socioeconomic characteristics such as skills and patriarchy, and demographic changes such as health systems and the effects of global pandemics (Van Berkum et al., 2018). The analytical framework includes the institutions, values and cultures that influence preferences and choices in the food system, along with the capitals (combinations of financial, natural, physical, human and social assets used to produce or acquire food), the biological and ecological realms available to the system and the activities carried out by the various actors in the system. The principle of “farm to fork” is present, with food waste and loss occurring at each stage. These activities of a food system may be organised as value chains that are short (low-input subsistence farmer to her family) or long (agro-chemical company to urban consumer via industrialised farms and multinational retail corporations) (Van Berkum et al., 2018). The food system impacts on three conditions/goals essential for human existence and has the potential to guide policies that address all three objectives: security of access to food and nutrition; rural and urban livelihoods, and specifically rural development; and environmental sustainability. The conceptual framework proposes capitals that are relevant to food systems, including political and cultural capitals. Recently digital capital has been identified as a potential new asset that brings together access and use of information and communication technologies (FSNet-Africa, 2021). The model also focuses attention on the interconnected components of the physical environment within which a specific food system operates and includes the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere (Van Berkum et al., 2018). The environment in which food is produced, the environment in which it is consumed, the value chains connecting them, and the waste that occurs are all parts of the food system. When these components are analysed, supply-oriented assessments that concentrate on increasing food production in the face of demographic and climatic pressures may be included. The value chain, which connects supply (production) and demand (consumption), is the subject of midstream-oriented analysis. Here, better institutions and markets as well as lower transaction costs and risks are the keys to improving performance. Demand-oriented strategies place special emphasis on consumer behaviour, food access and cost, and balanced diets. Last but not least, system-wide approaches focus on developing responsive, adaptable food systems through better governance to resolve trade-offs and make use of synergies (Van Berkum et al., 2018). Social institutions are acknowledged as being a part of the food system, although only being tangentially related to food demand/production and food supply/consumption. Instead of organisational structures, institutions in this case are the official and informal rules that govern behaviour. The Framework for Researching African Food Systems identifies these as regulative, normative and cognitive establishments. Regulative institutions refer to public sector conventions, policies and procedures. Normative institutions are not as formal as regulative institutions and are morally controlled. Cognitive institutions guide what is culturally or conceptually acceptable to actors and include priorities, problem agendas, beliefs, paradigms, models of reality and language (Van Berkum et al., 2018). The Framework’s objective was to critically translate evidence generated from the research findings into policy solutions that are feasible and practical interventions aimed at supporting the attainment of Africa’s SDGs. The achievement of the SDGs is viewed as the primary transformative function of the African food system. That is the scope of the transformation’s paths for institutional, social and environmental change, as well as its sustained elimination of famine and universal access to affordable, safe, healthy and nourishing food (SDG 2). This idea emphasises the potential for food systems to improve inclusive and fair livelihood options towards eradicating poverty (SDGs 1, 8 and 10). As a result, dismal developments could result in loss of livelihoods, especially for the most vulnerable individuals, hence escalating inequality and environmental devastation. The realisation of SDGs 12, 14 and 15 depends on the reparative effects of food systems transition on biodiversity and natural resources. Increased resilience and adaptation to risks and shocks at all levels are essential for addressing the challenge of climate change (SDG 13). Promoting demand restraint (i.e. encouraging consumers to choose fewer items of higher nutritional quality over more items of lower quality) and improving governance, coordination, accountability and stakeholder agency are other methods to realise transformative paths (FSNet-Africa, 2021). Regarding African food systems, the continent comprises diverse food cultures and food environments owing to its heterogeneity, with over 2,000 languages and 3,000 ethnic groups across 54 countries. As a result, the biosphere, the globalising political economy and the globalisation of culture are all included in the global food regime, which includes the drivers and mechanisms of a food system. However, the concept of African food systems acknowledges, among other things, the common history of colonialism and underdevelopment and its detrimental effects on Africa’s integration into the global food system and the investments, international partnerships and laws made under the auspices of pan-African governance and institutional experiments, such as the African Union (AU) and ARUA. Other examples include the growing integration of African nations as trading partners, investors, farmers, workers and consumers, which is prioritised by programmes such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the shared understanding of the opportunities and challenges that face African governments and citizens as well as how to address them, as encapsulated by Agenda 2063, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the One Africa Voice initiative (FSNet- Africa, 2021). Developments in the African food system indicate a declining employment and agricultural share as well as a slow performance when compared to other regions. The environment for producing food on a worldwide scale has evolved from family farms to industrialised commodity production and ultra-processing (sold through fresh produce marketplaces and small businesses). Food consumption based on mass distribution, globalised trade, etc. are further characteristics of this. Similar structural change is taking place in Africa, and it has improved overall wellbeing while reducing rural poverty (FSNet-Africa, 2021). However, those who work in the food industry are disproportionately affected by poverty, hunger and significant food insecurity. Unfortunately, smallholder farmers have diminishing access to land and receive inadequate compensation as a result of the current trends of capital-intensive, industrialised and large-scale commercial and farmland consolidation. Insecure employment on industrial farms and rural-to-urban migration in pursuit of employment prospects are other detrimental effects. Small-scale enterprises, insufficient utilisation of non-organic inputs and technology, condensed local supply chains and spot-exchange-based market transactions are the main characteristics of many African food systems. However, 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land is found in Africa, with only 8% of this land area being used for crop production, while its people are overly reliant on agriculture for a living (FSNet- Africa, 2021). The majority of food produced in Africa is produced by small and medium-sized businesses along all value chains, including street vendors in the unorganised sector. This exemplifies how the African food system is represented in context. In spite of this, African food systems and their outcomes are evolving quickly. Over the past three decades, supply linkages between rural and urban areas have grown by 600-800%, which has boosted food availability and accessibility. Between 1990-92 and 2014-16, the prevalence of undernutrition in Africa, which is defined as having insufficient food consumption to meet nutritional energy requirements, decreased from 33% to 23.2% (FSNet-Africa, 2021). Changes are occurring in all areas of food production and consumption in Africa with regard to the food ecosystems, though the effects on changes in poverty, food and nutrition security, and livelihoods are uneven. African food markets are expected to rise sixfold by 2025, with urban demand for processed staples driving the majority of the growth. Between 2010 and 2040, this is anticipated to increase five to tenfold, having a substantial influence on the continent (FSNet-Africa, 2021). FSNet-Africa has proposed certain evidence-based interventions that are essential for aiding stakeholders in the food system to make decisions that are well-informed. This calls for “mapping food systems,” “mapping the policy landscape” and “understanding paths to the plate” across the priority nations of FSNet-Africa. The many functions of participants in the informal food economy, which are largely disregarded by policy, should receive due consideration. The project highlights the necessity for research into the processes by which better agribusinesses and lucrative jobs are created and lost, and why. It also emphasises the necessity of recalibrating the assistance required by players in the formal and informal food sectors to encourage workforce development, small, medium and microenterprises, and the employment of young people (FSNet-Africa, 2021). Conclusion In conclusion, the primary trends influencing African food systems and economies include rapid urbanisation, rising incomes and a growing middle class. These trends work in concert to affect consumer demand and alter consumer lifestyles, tastes and choices. Trends in the supply of staples and increased processed food consumption have westernised African food supply systems and altered the makeup of the labour market in terms of the shares of non-agricultural jobs in country regions. In the same way structural transformation patterns have been reinforced. Building resilient food systems that can withstand risks of climate change and safeguarding the livelihoods of underprivileged and marginalised food stakeholders are among the challenges facing African food systems. Therefore, improved sector governance and integrated African food systems are crucial to the viability of changing to sustainable food systems in Africa. The territorial balance between urban and rural areas, as well as across administrative and related boundaries, should serve as the basis for this. References Abrahams, M. 2022. Over half SA households are food insecure: Women must first pay for transport, electricity, debt, New Agenda: South African Journal of Social and Economic Policy, 86, Institute for African Alternatives, 36-38. Available at https://ifaaza. org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Over-half-SA- households-are-food-insecure.pdf. Accessed 9 November 2022. Battersby, J. 2022. Revised food security policy needed to reshape SA food system. New Agenda: South African Journal of Social and Economic Policy, 86, Institute for African Alternatives, 26-30. Available at https://ifaaza.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/ Revised-food-security-policy.pdf. Accessed 9 November 2022. Bendjebbar, P. and Bricas, N. 2019. Major Trends in Food System Drivers, Food Systems at Risk, 25.Available at https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=jIa4DwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA25&dq= Bendjebbar,+P.+and+Bricas,+N.+2019.+Major+Tren ds+in+Food+System+Drivers&ots=DEm4tgqvZa&si g=fkGMrGU4ivqn-4cZ-pWGEkAK7IU British Red Cross. 2022. Africa food crisis: 146 million people are going hungry. Available at https:// www.redcross.org.uk/stories/disasters-and- emergencies/world/africa-hunger-crisis-100- million-struggling-to-eat. Accessed November 2022. Brunori, G., Bartolini, F., Avermaete, T., Mathjis, E., Brzezina, N., Moragues Faus, A., Sonnino, R. and Marsden, T . 2015. D2.1 “Conceptual framework”. TRANSMANGO FP7 project. Assessment of the impact of global drivers of change on Europe’s food and nutrition security (FNS) KBBE.2013.2.5-01. Available at: https://transmango.files.wordpress. com/2017/09/d2-1-conceptual-framework-final.pdf. Accessed 19 September 2023. Clapp, J., Moseley, W.G., Burlingame, B. and Termine, P. 2022. The case for a six-dimensional food security framework, Food Policy, 102164. FAO. 1996. The State of Food and Agriculture 1996 (No. 29). Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO. 2004. Voluntary guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. Rome: FAO Council. Retrieved from http://www. fao.org/docrep/meeting/009/y9825e/y9825e00. htm FAO. 2022. Joint Analysis for Better Decisions. Available at https://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/faoitaly/documents/pdf/pdf_Food_Security_Cocept_Note.pdf. Accessed 1 November 2022. FSNet-Africa. 2021. Framework for Researching African Food Systems. Available at https://fsnetafrica.com/ publications/framework-for-researching-african- food-systems/. Accessed 1 November 2022. Global Report on Food Crises. 2022. Joint Analysis for Better Decisions. Available at https://www.fao.org/3/cb9997en/cb9997en.pdf. Accessed 1 November 2022. Johns Hopkins Centre for a Liveable Future. 2016. Hunger and Food Insecurity. Available at https:// www.foodsystemprimer.org/food-and-nutrition/ hunger-and-food-insecurity. Accessed 1 November 2022. Pinstrup Andersen, P. 2007. Agricultural research and policy for better health and nutrition in developing countries: a food systems approach, Agricultural Economics, 37, 187-198. Statistics South Africa. 2020. Measuring Food Security in South Africa: Applying the Food Insecurity Experience Scale. Available at https://www.statssa. gov.za/?p=15273. Accessed 1 November 2022. Statistics South Africa. 2021. What do South African households look like? Available at https://www. statssa.gov.za/?p=15473. Accessed 1 November 2022. Statistics South Africa. 2022. Measuring Food Security in South Africa: Applying the Food Insecurity Experience Scale. Van Berkum, S., Dengerink, J. and Ruben, R. 2018. The food systems approach: sustainable solutions for a sufficient supply of healthy food, (No. 2018-064). Wageningen Economic Research. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. Email: info@inclusivesociety.org.za Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589 Web: www.inclusivesociety.org.za

  • Assessing development as a moral imperative in Africa: Gyekye's model of development in perspective

    Copyright © 2024 Print ISSN: 2960-1541 Online ISSN: 2960-155X Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8000 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute D I S C L A I M E R Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or those of their respective Board or Council members. JANUARY 2024 by Dr Aderonke Ajiboro Abstract One of the topical issues in the socio-political re-organisation of Africa in the 20th century is development, and most recently, sustainable development. Oftentimes, this issue is discussed against the backdrop of the unnerving consequences of the colonial, postcolonial and neocolonial periods in the history of Africa. But why should any society engage in a conscious effort towards development? What will such an effort entail? And why does the attainment of development become needful, especially in Africa? These are some of the questions that are addressed in this paper. The paper aligns with Kwame Gyekye’s functionalist conception of development and tries to examine some recent objections to it. This paper affirms that development is a necessity in any human society, not just as a psychological and historical phenomenon but also as an economic prerogative of any African society in the 21st century. It also gives a critical assessment of the conception of development as exhibited in some African countries. What is Development? The above question is a generic one. As Kwame Gyekye puts it, the concept of development is a ‘multifaceted’ one. It is a deeply philosophical one such as ‘what is knowledge?’, ‘what is truth?’ or ‘what is value?’ (Gyekye, 1988: 14). In which case, there is a need to conceive the term ‘development’ in a wholistic and universally acceptable way, for it to be understood and exemplified in an objective manner. Hence, the question can also be asked, what are the general defining exemplifications of a society that has development or is developed? For Gyekye, there is the constant desire of governments to attain what is called development. This desire in the African situation was also very intense in the wake of the call for independence of African states as well as Third World countries. It is pertinent to note that the appellation of ‘Third World’ stems from the Age of Enlightenment and Industrialisation, where inventions and discoveries of new means and methods of addressing human societal challenges were made in the West. Any society that lacked such indices as those that produced development in the West were summarily classified as not exhibiting the features of development, or basically, as underdeveloped. For Gyekye, “the choice of effective approaches to development is what most people in Africa and other Third World countries are talking about; it is the goal of every government in the Third World … since development has been identified with economic growth” (Gyekye, 1988: 15). Economic growth is a species of development. There are political, social, moral, business, academic development and so on, which are all parts of the genus development, though they may not have a logical relation to development as a whole. The human society is a dynamic one. The flow of thought and deeds in the human society are influenced and bound by circumstances that are beyond individual preferences. Therefore, the ability to attain a uniform or unified standard of a conception of development wellbeing may be difficult. This poses a problem for the conception of development in the society. A collective definitive approach to a particular cause may not be achievable, although the aggregation of common views may be an index for taking a particular view. This, therefore, puts man as the responsible agent for any action that is to be carried out in the society. As Awolowo puts it, “man is the sole creative purpose of the universe” (Awolowo, 1976: 53). In other words, whatever conception or indication of development that is to be evident in any society is ultimately dependent on the organisation of the human fabric that establishes it. This is closely linked with Gyekye’s conception of development. One major point is how his conception of development puts man at the initiating and receptive stages of development. This closely aligns with Nyerere’s idea of freedom and development; in the Arusha Declaration, Nyerere affirms that all proposals made by all socio-political ideologies directed at development should be geared towards the attainment of wellbeing of the people (of Tanzania) (Nyerere, 1968). This implies that whatever purpose development is to serve, it must be to the desirable state of existence for the people. It is therefore appreciable that Gyekye conceives of development in the functionalist way. For him, “to be developed is to have the capability to perform the functions appropriate to the object, such as society or institution, said to be developed. The nature and purpose of the object will determine its specific function. Thus, the functions of the human mind are related to its nature and purpose and would therefore not be the same as those of a political institution, for instance. The functions of the various objects that are said to be developed thus do differ. This is what is intended by my use of the word ‘appropriate’ in the definition just formulated” (Gyekye, 1988: 17). Gyekye opposes an economistic conception of development because it is lopsided and inadequate. It is a view of development that is conceived in terms of the production and increase of the material capacity of the society, such as food production, construction of buildings and roads, good and improved healthcare and so on. There is the tendency to misapply Gyekye’s notion of development to these material outputs as functions that are derivatives of a society experiencing development. However, Gyekye notes that these (material) economic entities are tools to indicate that more fundamental processes of development may not be immediately accessible to a particular society or its critics. A little bit of economic history lends support to this view. Akin Mabogunje notes that there was a buoyant economic landscape in Nigeria before it was tampered with in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the colonial powers: “The important point to be made here is that a system of towns and cities had developed in Nigeria before the 19th century in response to social, political, and economic forces operating in the country over a long time. Trade was paramount to their existence, and it was trade limited not so much by the distance to be covered as by the amount of goods and services that could be effectively carried over that distance during given intervals of time. In other words, people did cover considerable distances in pursuit of their trade. But since the means of carriage was usually by head porterage or donkeys, the amount that could be moved at any one time was limited. Similarly, since the traders had to trek, the distance that they could cover on one trip to market was circumscribed. In consequence there emerged specialised centres of trading, holding at specific intervals to allow for the time required to move around. Much of this trade was for internal consumption, and only a limited portion of it found its way outside of the country, either to North Africa or through the coastal centres to Europe and the Americas” (Mabogunje, 1965). In the above, Mabogunje paints a picture of a Nigerian society that tried to address its socio-economic challenges given the means available to them. The question of “appropriateness” to the challenge may be raised and not immediately answered, bearing in mind that trade exports may not have been one of the desirable goals in the centuries in question. Also, with the trade economy described above, one could see that there are limitations arising from the influence of Europe – even as an avenue for export – on the economic development of Nigeria, and the decisions of the traders and modes of trading were germane to the trend that the economy will follow. Obviously, the limitations should dispel any notion of trying to create an equating of development per se and economic development on any level. This is not to say that development in the objective sense does not have limitations. In a later work, Aderanti Adepoju (1976) also wrote on an index of development expressed in environmental development. For him, the socio-economic development that is experienced in Nigeria is of a slow pace because of the non-attentiveness of socio-political organisation to the rural areas in embarking on developmental projects and lack of adequate statistics. All these species of development can be regarded as a measure of development in the society. A measure of development, hence, is not synonymous with development itself. In fact, the measure of a thing is external to that thing; it is only an applied entity on what is being measured. If this is granted, Gyekye’s functionalist account may be seen as problematic, because the functions that are meant to be derived from acts produced from development may also be argued as being manifestations of development. However, it is pertinent to note that as much as the functions that Gyekye portrays are not in such a way that it is distinguishable from it. At least a manifestation of an act establishes the occurrence of that act, if it is not the act itself. Furthermore, Ani raises three objections to Gyekye’s conception of development and argues that the conception can be questioned: The first objection is that the ultimate goal of development is economic development. The second is that development is a process that is continuous. The third is that no society can be described as developed if development is a continuous process (Ani, 2017). It is apt to note that Gyekye’s functionalist conception of development is integrative, as Ani concedes. By no means did Gyekye divest economic development or growth from the functionalist conception. The view he emphasises is that economic development does not, in any way, describe the general or objective view that development, as a concept, should be understood. The other two objections raised by Ani are shaky. Continuity and the status of being ‘developed’ does not deny the strength of Gyekye’s argument. Although Gyekye implies that development conceived in the functionalist/behavioural/evolutionary model of the insect is a non-continuous process, it does not expressly suggest that the process is terminal. A state of equilibrium can be attained where a nation can be termed as ‘developed’. The continuous creation of goals, needs and existential challenges of the society, as Ani rightly notes, will always be present. However, this does not imply that the state of being ‘developed’ puts a stop to it. Of what nature then is development? The core idea of development arose as a means of tackling the ever-present challenges of the society and that is why the products of development go beyond a particular sector or problem of the society. It should be aimed at solving or addressing even the predictable or unforeseen one; hence, it is more of an ideological thinking put into practice. This is evident in Nyerere’s view of development as freedom. For Nyerere, freedom is, in a way, a product of development and development arises out of the exercise of total freedom of people in the society. For him, “freedom and development are completely linked together as are chicken and eggs! Without chickens, you get no eggs; and without eggs you soon have no chickens. Similarly. Without freedom you get no development and without development you very soon lose your freedom” (Nyerere, 1973: 25). Although to a large extent the reference that Nyerere makes to development can be seen to be in terms of social and economic development, he is also of the view that these are mere indices to how development should be evident in the society. “For the truth is that development is development of the people. Roads, building, increases of crop output, and other things of this nature, are not development; they are only tools of development. A new road extends a man’s freedom only if he travels upon it. An increase in the number of school buildings is development only if those buildings can be and are being used to develop the minds and the understandings of people … Development which is not development of people … is irrelevant to the kind of future which is created” (Nyerere, 1973: 26). Hence, the nature of development for Nyerere is man-centred; if any proposal for development is not geared towards the freedom and development of the people in the society, that proposal fails as a development strategy. Just as for Gyekye that development cannot be divested of human creative ability (Gyekye, 1988: 43), for Nyerere, development cannot be divested of freedom. A society where freedom is not evident, even if all economic and material resources are available, will not count as a developed society. This suggests that the human intellect, and the ideologies it creates, is central to the kinds of development strategy it proposes and ultimately carries out. Thus, the nature of development is to be seen by its means of conception not necessarily by the means of manifestation and then the impact it has on the creative intellect of the people in the society. The Need for Development in Society In every human society there is the evolution of life and history, existential challenges that spur people on to think about their survival and sustenance. This, in itself, is an issue that attracts deep thought.  It is not clear if there is any human society without a goal of common sustenance at any point in time in the history of societies. The goal and/or the means of attaining the goal may be inadequate or unjust but there, at least, will be a propelling act to arrive at an end. Thus, development in every society is a need just as individuals have needs to satisfy; it is a need that arises out of the creative ability of the people to reflect on their mode of interactive existence and provide solutions to challenging situations. For Gyekye, “development is a directed and purposive activity; it also implies the need for, or the existence of, a human subject as the agent to undertake the developing activity. The reason is that what may be regarded as the trappings or symbols of development such as high industrial output … do not occur fortuitously: they are thought out, deliberated upon, planned and produced by human beings. And this means that, undoubtedly development is a creative act, essentially involving, as it must, the activity of the human intellect” (Gyekye, 1988: 43). The above view is also implied in J.C. Chukwuokolo’s examination of the concept of development. For him, “the developmental stance of any group of people is a product of their perception of the ultimate reality” (Chukwuokolo, 2012). Development therefore has an essential link to the human nature. To be developed or not to be is directly dependent on the people. Ani, however, makes a far-reaching statement by claiming that the African society had no inclination towards development until the modern era (Ani, 2017). Mabogunje’s view, as noted in the last section, shows that the economic history and trade development history established the idea that long before the modern era, the people living in Nigeria have always sought out means to address challenges in their existential conditions (Mabogunje, 1965). The African situation is a particularly interesting one as regards the developmental history of societies. Unlike in the West where Marx tried to fashion out the history of society based on the Communalism to Communism model, Africa traces her history from a traditional/indigenous era to postcolonial/neocolonial era. This goes a long way in affecting the thought patterns of people in the African society. As earlier noted, any development proposal in a society cannot be made outside of the ideological thinking of the people of that society. So, it is by the predominating idea in the society that a development strategy is put into practice. “Any people that see the ultimate reality in terms of idea will over-emphasise aspects of the society that promote idealism. So also is any society that lay much emphasis on matter as the ultimate reality. Such a society will tend to develop material aspects of society at the expense of the other dimensions of reality” (Chukwuokolo, 2012). If this is granted, at least one implication can be deduced from this: No external society has the moral or existential right to dictate or prescribe to another society what the focus of development in its society should be. This is because the lived experience of a people determines their existential needs. Whichever way the nature of their development occurs is dependent on their creative ability to understand and produce their wellbeing out of their perception of reality. Such a society that achieves the goal of development by this means cannot be denied the status. A point that arises out of this implication is that the indices for development in societies may differ, where society A has economic indices for its mark of development, society B may have moral or education indices. Underlying this, and most fundamental, is that the unbound creative ability of the people in the society should be geared towards producing a state of general wellbeing for the people such that is expressive in the development strategies in socio-political organisation. Development as a Moral Goal in Africa Gyekye indicates that development is a moral goal that should be taken seriously in any society (Gyekye, 1988: 42). The ability of the socio-political institution to function satisfactorily in the provision of basic existential needs of its citizens is a moral burden for any political institution. The history of societies in Africa, as earlier noted, is often characterised by the influence of the colonisers and their prescriptions of socio-political and economic organisation after the Africans were left to ‘self-rule’. It is not surprising therefore that the majority of the development proposals that African countries make either individually as a nation or as a continent are not in any way addressing fundamental issues of existence in the continent. The term ‘underdeveloped’ or ‘developing’ is still used to describe the majority of the countries on the continent. This is so, because the human creative impact is bounded by forces internal and external to its society. It is often noted by a lot of African scholars that the development of a society starts with an ideological thinking, where the boundless thoughts of man are given freedom to explore the numerous possibilities of addressing his/her existential challenges. Gyekye affirms that, “ideas are the products of individuals, that is, individual intellects. For this reason, the creative activity, if it is to succeed, requires that free rein be given to the exercise by individual human beings of their initiative, capacity and ingenuity. But the seminal ideas of individuals in the context of societal development, require the participation of others in order to bring them to concrete realisation” (Gyekye, 1988: 43). Political institutions in Africa in postcolonial times have often made their agenda attractive by putting forward the idea of development of the society. A lot of strategies and partnerships are made all in the bid to achieve the development goals. But they seem to be less bothered about the lived experience of the masses; people whose demography make the society or community whatever name it is called. There is a lack of participatory governance as Nyerere proposed, which is a hallmark of personal and societal freedom that foster development. The rush for the ‘exhibition’ of material infrastructures that are of little or no impact on the development of the people robs them of their creative intellect to approach their existential needs with enthusiasm. Amartya Sen is of the view that, “what would be most damaging would be the neglect … of centrally relevant concerns because of a lack of interest in the freedoms of the people involved. An adequately broad view of development is (should be) sought in order to focus the evaluative scrutiny on things that really matter and in particular avoid the neglect of crucially important subjects” (Sen, 1999: 33-34). One interesting point to note is that the result of the agitation for self-rule by Africans in the colonial times did not produce freedom of Africans. In recent times, African leaders have exhibited the acts of dominance that deprive citizens of their freedom, and which ultimately lead to a hindrance of development. A good political institution, as the existential needs of the masses will require, needs to be aware of the compelling needs of the people and equip the people for participation in their development for the wholistic wellbeing of the society. Political officeholders exhibit their freedom to the detriment of other citizens, which is an untoward act. Individual freedom should be geared towards a social commitment and “development should be a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy” (Sen, 1999: 3). Conclusion Human nature is averse to immobility, of thought or physical action. It is regarded as an abnormality for an individual to be in a state of inertia such as matter. Humans should be allowed to exhibit the activity of their intellect in society even where there may be need for caution and moderation. Even when development is conceived in terms of growth in the biological sense, it is more appreciable to say that an organism has developed rather than say it has merely grown. Many of the societies that are regarded as developed today can be seen to employ strategies that allow for the participation of the individual in the policies of the socio-political institutions. There is an understanding of the creative intellect of the human mind to proffer solutions to existential needs on the individual and societal scale. Most of the proposals to gear Africa towards being developed point at education and leadership as the two main points. The liberation of the human mind is priceless when it is allowed to explore the gifts of nature of societal growth. The framing and understanding of political ideologies are better applied when individuals can, of their own thinking, evaluate and conceive the impact of those ideologies as individuals in a society. There will be no ‘parade’ of the material things as the hub of development for the populace. Africa has for so long treated development as an external conferment by the developed countries. Political leaders have yet to understand that importation of gadgets and machines will not solve the development problem of Africa if the people are not involved in governance and are not listened to. Most African countries are in a dilemma of feasting on the development of other societies and living in an existential state that is, if not against human nature, not geared toward human flourishing. Given the political climate, which is full of anomalies but unfortunately celebrated by those who need intellectual liberation, the development in Africa must be an end that is desired, not just for the economic interest but also that it is morally sought after as a good. References Adepoju, A. 1976. Migration and Development in Nigeria, Manpower and Unemployment Research, 9(2): 65-76 Ani, E.I. 2017. Three Objections to Gyekye’s Functionalist Conception of Development, African Studies Quarterly, 17(1): 2 Awolowo, O. 1976. The Problems of Africa: The Need for Ideological Reappraisal. London: Macmillan Chukwuokolo, J.C. 2012. Evaluating the Philosophical Foundations of Development Theories, Open Journal of Philosophy, 2(4): 224 Gyekye, K. 1988. Development: A Brief Philosophical Analysis, In The Unexamined Life: Philosophy and the African Experience (expanded edition). Ghana: Sankofa Publishing Legon Mabogunje, A.L. 1965. Urbanization in Nigeria: A Constraint on Economic Development, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 13(4): 413-438 Nyerere, J. 1968. The Purpose is Man, In Ujamaa: Essays on Socialism. London: Oxford University Press Nyerere, J. 1973. Freedom and Development. London: Oxford University Press Sen, A. 1999. Development as freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. Email: info@inclusivesociety.org.za Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589 Web: www.inclusivesociety.org.za

  • Leveraging Special Economic Zones for growth

    Copyright © 2024 Print ISSN: 2960-1541 Online ISSN: 2960-155X Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8000 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute D I S C L A I M E R Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or those of their respective Board or Council members. JANUARY 2024 by Prof William Gumede Abstract Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in South Africa have not fully lived up to their potential – as has been the case in many African countries – to create jobs, beneficiate raw materials, develop new industries, and transfer skills and technology from foreign companies. This paper looks at the global impact of SEZs and the critical factors that lead to either their success or failure. The paper finds that the location of SEZs is no longer a comparative advantage, meaning SEZs will have to be internationally competitive. Their success and competitiveness pivots on SEZs being a well-thought-out part of a national development, growth, and industrial plan. There must be a business case for SEZs – they cannot be established based on political, ideological, and interest-group considerations. They must be governed competently, honestly, and according to consistently implemented laws. They must also operate in ways that safeguard the environment and human rights, especially of the local communities. SEZs must resolve Africa’s industrialisation and technology challenges, by linking African products to global value chains, producing export industries, and securing new technology and skills. Unless SEZs can help African countries accomplish all these important tasks, there is really no business case to establish them. Introduction Special economic zones (SEZs) can still play a critical role in developing new industries, beneficiating raw materials, and diversifying South Africa’s exports. That is, if they are linked to the overall national development strategy, done in full partnership with business, and freed from the public sector’s governance problems – such as incompetence, corruption, and inefficiency – which have stymied SEZs up to now. SEZs, which are also termed export processing zones, free trade zones and free ports, are geographically demarcated areas which governments dedicate to specific industrial development by giving fiscal incentives, regulatory exemptions, and public infrastructure support (Aggarwal, 2008; Asian Development Bank, 2007; Cirera & Lakshman, 2014; Farole & Akinci, 2011; Fruman & Zeng, 2015). It is a key policy tool many high-growth economies in Asia have used to build manufacturing, export capacity, and lift economic growth (IFC, 2016; ILO, 1988; Ishida, 2009; Jayanthakumaran, 2003). The South African government has adopted as a policy objective the establishment of regional industrial zones – Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks (IPs) – and corridors (Gumede, 2022a; Gumede, 2022b). The SEZs and IPs are recognised amongst the tools that are catalytic economic drivers in regional economy ecosystems. They drive continuous attraction, promotion and retention of direct domestic and foreign investment to achieve transformative industrialisation and sustainable economic growth in South Africa, especially in underperforming regions (Jayanthakumaran, 2003; Johansson & Nilsson, 1997; Cirera & Lakshman, 2014; Litwack & Qian, 1998; Rhee et al, 1990; Rodrik, 2004; Zeng, 2017; UNCTAD, 2019; UN ESCAP, 2019; UNIDO, 2015). The first industrial SEZ was established in 1959 in Shannon, Ireland. The country established the Shannon Free Airport Development Company, a development agency, to establish an industrial free zone, to generate alternative sources of traffic, business and tourism at the Shannon airport and adjacent area. Investors were given special tax concessions, simplified custom operations, and cheap investment attractions. The area was transformed into an air training base, maintenance and repair centre, and a tourist attraction. Global impact of SEZs According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), by 2007, SEZs accounted for US$851 billion-worth of exports – which is around 41% of global exports – and for 68 million direct jobs created (ILO, 1988). Clustering infrastructure, industries, and public goods in one specific region, means that a country can leverage scale to build a critical mass of related, complementary, and synergetic value chain components that need similar skills, technologies, and market links. This forms an ecosystem that boosts economic development, attracts investment, and fosters an environment for innovation. Companies share resources, costs, and infrastructure. The overriding idea is to concentrate limited public funds, resources, and infrastructure on developing or establishing new industries with the help of private sector investment, skills, and technology. Importantly, as Douglas Zhihua Zeng (2017) argues, SEZs “should only be used to address market failures or binding constraints that cannot be addressed through other options. If the constraints can be addressed through countrywide reforms, sector-wide incentives, or universal approaches, then zones might not be necessary”. If successful, SEZs could provide positive spillovers to the rest of the economy. These spillovers can be direct or indirect. The direct impacts are rising economic growth, new manufacturing industries, and beneficiation (Jayanthakumaran, 2003; Johansson & Nilsson, 1997; Cirera & Lakshman, 2014; Litwack & Qian, 1998; Rhee et al, 1990; Rodrik, 2004; Zeng, 2017; UNCTAD, 2019; UN ESCAP, 2019; UNIDO, 2015). It boosts employment, increases local and foreign exchange income. It brings new technology, innovation and skills, and diversifies the economy. It increases the productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of local companies, the productivity of local labour, and the income of local citizens. Figure 1: The growth of SEZs around the world since 1975 (UNCTAD, 2019 SEZs Report) Why do countries establish SEZs SEZs are established because governments lack the skills, resources, and capacity to introduce nationwide reforms to establish conducive environments for investment attraction, industrial upgrading, and infrastructure development. Furthermore, as Douglas Zhihua Zeng argues, governments also established SEZs because they lack the capacity to tackle vested interests, capture, and political opposition to country industrialisation reforms, and then implement it on a smaller, more protected and ring-fenced scale, through SEZs. If a country lacks effective state capacity, public services, and infrastructure such as power, water and transport, SEZs – located in a smaller geographical area – could offer an opportunity to use the limited state capacity, public services and infrastructure to potentially great impact, which could catalyse other parts of the economy. However, if investments can be attracted, industrialisation fostered and technology, knowledge and skills acquired through normal policy avenues, incentives, and state-business partnerships, SEZs are not necessary. SEZs must only be established if constraints such as government corruption, incompetency and red tape cannot be addressed speedily in the broader economy, and SEZs then are established as smaller protective zones where these governance failures are absent. A critical part of the success of SEZs is that they need to be part of the overall national industrial strategy of a country – they must be exempt from the inefficiencies, corruption and mismanagement normally associated with developing country governments and must respond to real market demands (Warr, 1989; Watson, 2001; White, 2011; Wolman, 2014; Zeng, 2017). Some of the purposes of SEZs are to create new industries that do not exist at the time, beneficiate raw materials and so create new value-add industries, attract foreign investment when it is difficult to do so under normal circumstances, and to develop an export economy. SEZs can also be specifically established to transfer new technology, knowledge, and skills that the country lacks, but are critical to industrialisation. The SEZ is almost an incubator, where experimenting, manufacturing, innovation, and learning can happen behind protective barriers – and the final product then exported to global markets. SEZs have been crucial in skills, technology and knowledge transfer and industrial upgrading from basic to value added industries in South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore. Dubai created a successful Dubai Internet City SEZ, which attracted the world’s largest technology companies, such as Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM. Dubai also created universities as special economic zones, bringing in foreign universities, teachers, and technology to accelerate skills transfer, technology upgrading and innovation (Khaleej Times, 2019). Africa, Morocco, and Nigeria set up SEZs to penetrate the European Union market (Bräutigam & Tang, 2010; Farole, 2011; Fruman & Zeng 2015). Rwanda set up SEZs to manufacture new products for exports. Within three years, 3% of Rwanda’s workforce were employed in its new SEZ. Mauritius set up SEZs to produce processed sugar for export. Such was the Mauritian success, that when the sugar industry was at its peak, the country dominated 50% of the EU market for processed brown sugar (Bräutigam & Tang, 2010; Serlet, 2022). The SEZs must be a zone of competent management, corruption-free, devoid of public sector red tape, and effectively integrated within local and global markets. SEZs must have a specific industrialisation purpose and must not become a collection of subsidised warehouses that create jobs artificially at great cost, as has been the case in many failed SEZs in Africa and South Africa. Many researchers worry that SEZs may only develop certain parts of a country, creating “enclaves”, and the impact will not be transferred to the wider economy. The rise of SEZs Taiwan in 1966, Singapore in 1969, and South Korea in 1970 were amongst the first to create SEZs (Asian Development Bank, 2007). Both Singapore and South Korea established SEZs to use their cheap and available labour, to foster labour-intensive, export manufacturing industries and attract foreign investment – based on giving investors incentives for setting up these industries (Lall, 2000). Singapore established SEZs to build a transhipment trade hub, removing goods and service taxes on products. By the 1970s Singapore created specialised SEZs, particularly to build the petroleum refinery-related industry (Koh, 2006). Singapore has established more than 400 companies trading in petroleum and related products since it established its first SEZ in 1969. For another, the creation of the petroleum refinery-related industry has spurred associated and related petroleum business, including professional services, research and development, and marketing and sales. After the Asian financial crisis, these East Asian states changed the focus of their SEZs, as economic circumstances changed, to industrial upgrading, productivity increases and innovation (UNCTAD, 2019; UN ESCAP, 2019; UNIDO, 2015). They moved their SEZs from low-skilled, low-cost labour to value added activities and technology – these economies now had developed high-skilled workforces, for high-skilled labour. For example, these countries introduced technology, biotechnology, science, and software SEZs. China successfully used SEZs as zones of experimenting to develop the market system, while building new industries the country did not have and learning new technologies it lacked. China launched its “Open Door” reforms in 1978 to introduce market reforms in selected regions, in what former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping called “crossing the river by touching the stones” (Shen & Xu, 2011; Sklair, 1991). The Chinese SEZs were zones where the usual government red tape, corruption and ideology were set aside, focusing on securing foreign investment by giving incentives, attracting new technology and knowledge. The Chinese SEZs built new industries, created new jobs and new export industries (Shen & Xu, 2011; Sklair, 1991). It fostered positive spillovers to the economy – new knowledge, new technology, and new management techniques were transferred to other parts of the economy, which lifted economic growth, development, and the country’s competitiveness (Shen & Xu, 2011; Sklair, 1991). It is estimated that SEZs have contributed to 22% of China’s GDP, 41% of the country’s foreign direct investment, and 60% of its exports. China’s technology commercialisation rate is around 10%. However, in SEZs the technology commercialisation rate is around 60%. SEZs in Africa There are an estimated 237 SEZs in Africa, found in 38 countries (Farole, 2011; Fruman & Zeng, 2015). Mauritius introduced Africa’s most successful SEZs. In 1970, the country established its first SEZ to manufacture textiles and garments, food and beverages, and batteries for export. In the Mauritius export processing zone, companies are free to locate anywhere on the island. Mauritius’ 1970 Export Processing Act broke from the typical post-colonial African import substitution strategy to one of an export-led industrialisation strategy. Mauritius was more successful than many African countries in that it focused on export-led growth, and the SEZ was part of its export-led industrialisation strategy, not a standalone policy like in many African countries where SEZs have had pedestrian results (Bräutigam & Tang, 2010). Mauritius allowed duty-free imports of inputs meant to be used to make products for export. The country gave tax holidays to exporters. Exporters were given reduced rates on power, water and building materials – charging rates similar to international competitors. Domestic companies who were exporters received credit from banks at lower interest rates. The Mauritian government was careful to push labour-intensive production, to soak low-skilled unemployment. Cheaper credit was calibrated in such a way that companies did not shirk labour-intensive for capital-intensive production, because of the cheaper capital available. Mauritius’ priority was to get manufacturing going in the country – whether it was foreign owned or not – transferring knowledge, technology, and skills, and so, fostering positive spillovers to the rest of the economy. Mauritius placed no restrictions on foreign ownership of manufacturing companies – unlike many countries in post-colonial Africa. The country has been governed more pragmatically than almost all African countries, by spending more attention on building and maintaining reliable infrastructure. Mauritius, governed for most of its postcolonial history by coalitions, has been Africa’s most stable country – it has managed its public finances prudently and is amongst the least corrupt – which is an immediate attraction for investors (Gumede, 2022a). The country also prioritised making its public service competent. The SEZs were governed competently, honestly, and pragmatically. By 1988, employment in Mauritius’ SEZs was 85% of total manufacturing employment and 31% of total country employment. By the late 1980s, value add produced in SEZs made up 12% of GDP. More recently, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria were successful in processing cocoa through SEZs, by partnering with Western companies to co-produce chocolate, the value-add of cocoa, for export, rather than exporting raw, unprocessed cocoa (Gumede, 2022a; Gumede, 2022b). The value-add chocolate creates more jobs, and earns more money, than the raw commodity cocoa. Morocco and Nigeria have also recently established successful SEZs in partnership with foreign investors to penetrate the European Union market. Rwanda has successfully established SEZs in partnership with industrial country companies to manufacture new products for exports. SEZs in South Africa: The Tshwane Automotive SEZ The ANC government has adopted the policy of SEZs as one of its pillar strategies to lift growth, boost investment, and increase job creation (Majola, 2023). The South African SEZ programme started with the Industrial Development Zone policy review in 2007 by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic). The SEZ Act stipulates that SEZs should have a feasibility study and business case. Most of South Africa’s SEZs are state operated. There are 11 designated SEZs, with nine fully operational. They have attracted 167 operational investors, with total private investment of R21,9 billion, and created almost 20 000 operational jobs. The SEZs include Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape, Dube Trade Port and Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, East London and Coega in the Eastern Cape, Maluti-A-Phofung in the Free State, Musina Makhado in Limpopo, and Tshwane Automotive in Gauteng. The Tshwane Automotive SEZ launched in South Africa in 2019 appears to offer the prospect of being a model SEZ. It secured and was driven by a private sector anchor, Ford Motor Company. The company invested over R15 billion to produce the next generation of Ford Rangers. Ford, the national and provincial governments, and the City of Tshwane are co-governing the SEZ in a public-private partnership. Ford is represented on the management board of the entity, which includes representatives of the dtic, Gauteng Department of Economic Development, and the City of Tshwane. Staff from the Eastern Cape SEZ, Coega, were deployed to assist in the establishment of the Tshwane Automotive SEZ. This is one of the rare occasions where all spheres of government are involved in a governing partnership with the private sector. The Tshwane Automotive SEZ was co-designed from the start with Ford and has been given clean audits since its inception. The government has spent R2 billion on the project, with material inputs for the production aimed at 45%. The SEZ will, in cooperation with Transnet, develop a rail-to-port corridor for vehicle and components exports – which will include Tshwane and Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape – the completion of which is a critical component that will determine the success of the SEZ. Figure 2: Special Economic Zones in South Africa Critical success factors for SEZs Before a country establishes SEZs it must put together a national industrialisation, economic growth, or long-term development plan (Aggarwal, 2008; IFC, 2016; ILO, 1988; Ishida, 2009; Jayanthakumaran, 2003). Such a plan must be based on an analysis of the state of the country’s economy, its development needs, and its human capital. There must be an assessment of the comparative advantages – the resources – the country has, what it can do with domestic resources, capital, and skills, and what will need to be built with outside help. Related to this, there must be a comprehensive analysis of the country’s comparative position in the global economy, trade, and supply chains. A central pillar of any country’s industrialisation, growth and long-term development strategy is how to build local production capacity (Aggarwal, 2008; IFC, 2016; ILO, 1988; Ishida, 2009; Jayanthakumaran, 2003). Establishing SEZs, for example, could be a mechanism to build local production capacity through attracting foreign investors to the SEZs and then getting them to upgrade local production capacity, by partnering, transferring technology, skills and knowledge, and sourcing inputs from local firms. There must be clear reasons for the establishment of SEZs, including how they fit into the national industrialisation, development, or long-term country economic growth plan (Gumede, 2022a; Gumede, 2022b). For example, if the intention is to attract foreign direct investment – which the country cannot do through traditional methods – the objective of attracting investment through the SEZs must be integrated into the country’s economic growth plan. There must be a business case for SEZs (Zeng, 2017), meaning there needs to be a global demand and a market for the products manufactured in the SEZs. SEZs must be embedded in the comparative advantage of the country. They cannot be established based on political, ideological, and interest-group considerations. It is crucial that SEZs form part of a country’s national long-term development or industrialisation plan, rather than operating as standalone job creation exercises. Once the business case for SEZs has been made, there must be an assessment of the implications of establishing them for existing businesses, institutions, and policies. After this, SEZ laws, policies, and supporting and governing institutions will have to be created. Well-thought out, pragmatic and credible laws, regulations, and institutional frameworks are crucial to govern SEZs. Governments must implement these consistently, honestly, and competently to foster investor, market, and society confidence that SEZs are not simply going to be another avenue for corruption, self-enrichment, and failure (Gumede 2022a; Gumede 2022b). The business environment must be conducive, efficient, and friendly. The costs of doing business – registration, logistics and customs – should be conducive to companies setting up. The public infrastructure – power, rail, and water – for SEZs must be working, reliable, and cost effective. Poor, unreliable or lack of infrastructure is a significant factor increasing the costs of doing business, global pricing competitiveness of products manufactured and of labour utilisation. Sound infrastructure is a vital competitive advantage for investors to set up shop in an SEZ – without it, it makes no sense. SEZs must also be linked to the supply chains of local industry (Jayanthakumaran, 2003; Johansson & Nilsson, 1997; Cirera & Lakshman, 2014; Litwack & Qian, 1998; Rhee et al, 1990; Rodrik, 2004; Zeng, 2017; UNCTAD, 2019; UN ESCAP, 2019; UNIDO, 2015). Local firms must provide the inputs, material, and services to the companies in the SEZs. If local firms do not have the capacity to do so, it will be crucial for governments to also provide them with assistance, incentives, and rebates to enable them to link into the supply chains of the SEZ firms. Doing this considerably maximises the positive spillover effect of SEZs. South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, for example, provide tax rebates, technical assistance, and infrastructure subsidies for local companies to their SEZs, to foster backwards linkages between SEZ companies and local ones. In addition, there must be a clear strategy of how local firms will be linked to the supply chains of the global firms in the SEZs (UNCTAD, 2019; UN ESCAP, 2019; UNIDO, 2015). Many global firms buy more than half of their inputs from other firms and outsource their manufacturing to other smaller firms. In such cases they only retain design, marketing, and research and development functions. It is important that, as part of the industrialisation strategy, a country encourages global firms attracted to the SEZs to source their inputs locally. And if local companies do not have the capacity to produce inputs for global companies, the SEZ strategy must outline how the capacity of local firms could be built up with the support of foreign investors. This would usually involve incentives being given to foreign players to build the capacity of local suppliers through transferring skills, technology, and providing financial support, where necessary. Governments must actively intervene to overcome market failures in the value chains linking local suppliers to that of international investors (Jayanthakumaran, 2003). For example, local suppliers may not know about the opportunities available to produce inputs for international companies. At the same time, the international companies may not know of the existence of local companies with the capacity to provide inputs for their products. In some cases, the inputs of local companies may be of too poor a standard or too costly for global firms. Government SEZ policy must then provide tools to help local firms to produce quality inputs at affordable prices for global investors. Also, in many cases developing country hosts of SEZs employ predominantly unskilled citizens because educational institutions are weak, ineffective, and under-resourced. The SEZs can be a catalyst to establish new training institutions, research, and development centres, and to upgrade existing ones. There must be clear monitoring, evaluation, and assessment mechanisms to ensure that SEZs are on track to meet their stated objectives (Gumede 2022a; Gumede 2022b). There must be benchmarking of SEZs against comparable successful ones elsewhere, and mechanisms need to be in place to intervene if they are in danger of veering off course. Those managing SEZs must be held accountable for delivering on the stated objectives of the entities. China, for example, in 1996 issued an official administrative decree for the compulsory regular evaluation of SEZ performance: SEZs that are poorly managed, not meeting their development targets, and growing too slowly lose their SEZ status. Chinese SEZs are evaluated based on several performance indicators, including knowledge creation and technological innovation – which are measured based on how much the education level of employees has been uplifted – R&D expenditure, the number of R&D institutions and technology innovation incubators established. Another performance indicator is the level of industrial upgrading and how structural optimisation capabilities have been boosted, which are measured by the number of new high-tech companies created, the number of services firms established, the number of intellectual property registrations, and the number of listed companies attracted to the SEZ. The SEZ performance in China is also measured based on how local companies developed in the SEZs penetrate international markets and fare in global competition, by the ratio of their employees who have received education abroad, and the number of intellectual property registrations lodged abroad (Asian Development Bank, 2007). The Chinese SEZ performance is also measured in relation to companies’ sustainable development capacity increases, by way of looking at the number of employees with master’s and doctoral degrees, the increases in taxable revenues, the growth rate of the companies, and the amount of new investment undertaken. SEZs could be fully government or business owned or could be public-private arrangements. In developing countries, the SEZs that have been fully government owned have mostly failed – as all the governance failures of the public sector, such as corruption, incompetence and red tape are also repeated in the SEZs, making them unviable. Public-private arrangements, in which the private sector co-govern and co-manage, have generally been the most successful. An effective, competent, and pragmatic management structure is crucial in managing an SEZ, and sound operational management skills are vital to its success. Many SEZs in African countries and in South Africa fail from the same lack of implementation and execution management capacity found in their public sectors – especially if the same incompetent public sector managers are operating the SEZs. It is also important that the SEZs’ good infrastructure development is from time to time transplanted to the wider region in which they are situated. This means that the infrastructure built for the SEZs must be part of an integrated public infrastructure development programme, whereby the SEZs’ public infrastructure investment would be the anchor of broader infrastructure expansion. Another point is that SEZs are often giant industrial structures that could damage the environment significantly. Therefore, the construction and management of SEZs must be done in such a way that it protects the environment, which many first generation SEZs neglected. Many are now trying to clawback environmental destruction in the wake of mass industrialisation that took place without taking the environment into account. It is very important that SEZ investors be required to report on environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) performance. Many of the first generation SEZs’ construction also rarely consulted with local communities, civil society, and interest groups. It is essential that new SEZs do not repeat this mistake. If a site chosen to construct the SEZ involves uprooting local communities, acquiring their land and property, the process must be done in consultation with them, fairly and compassionately. Consultations of local communities, civil groups and interest groups are also essential in identifying the local comparative advantages and to link the SEZ investor activities with local input, material, and services – and so, crucial to maximising the positive spillover effect of the SEZs. Why SEZs have failed in many African countries Some SEZs in African countries have failed for the same reasons that development has failed in these countries (Farole, 2011; Fruman & Zeng, 2015). These reasons include SEZs not being integrated as part of a national growth, industrialisation, or long-term development strategy. SEZs are often set up for ad hoc policy objectives, such as only job creation or only attracting foreign investment. In Africa, only Mauritius, Rwanda, and Morocco made SEZs part of their national development strategies. In many African countries, SEZs are often set up for ideological, patronage, and corrupt reasons – and without making a business case. In many cases African governments established SEZs without having anchor private sector investors, with the exception of Mauritius, who was successful with its SEZs in developing a processed sugar export industry because the government partnered with European processing companies. African SEZs have not prioritised linking industries to global value chains (Jayanthakumaran, 2003). They also have not prioritised using SEZs to develop new industries for export. Neither have African countries used SEZs to add value to the primary commodities they export, or to upgrade their countries’ skills, industrial and technology bases. Projects are often not decided based on a business case, but rather on which company gives the largest kickback. A case in point, the CEO of South Africa’s Dube Port SEZ was suspended because of alleged corruption. Many African and South African SEZs are not internationally competitive – and are economically non-viable. To add insult to injury, the public sector governance failures – such as incompetence, corruption, and inefficiency – that often undermine development, delivery and efficiency in South Africa and African countries, are often replicated in SEZs. These problems have stymied SEZs and continue to do so. The legal, regulatory, and institutional structures of SEZs are often lacking or poorly defined – open to different interpretations or not consistently implemented. Furthermore, in some cases, although national governments decree SEZs, they in many instances do not give them the financial, infrastructure or political support they need. New governments, whether national or provincial, often withdraw support for SEZs established by their predecessors. Furthermore, SEZs in African countries often take a long time to put legal, regulatory, and institutional structures in place – and sometimes even longer to operationalise. Incentives are regularly either uncompetitive or overgenerous, undermining local industry outside the SEZs. Business procedures are slowed down by red tape, and special customs and tax are incoherently applied. Governments often do not have an adequate understanding of the requirements of businesses they want to invest in the SEZs. Many African and South African SEZs start without any anchor business investor, which means that the state is the anchor or biggest investor. In South Africa, the most successful SEZ is the Tshwane SEZ, which started with an anchor investor, the Ford company. Public infrastructure in African and South African SEZs is often as bad as in other parts of South Africa, with the supply of power, water, rail, roads, ports, and internet frequently not consistent. This makes it unproductive for investors to set up in SEZs – as the cost of infrastructure is a determining factor. In South Africa, and in many African countries, the governance management structures of SEZs are in many instances run solely by the state – and the corruption, incompetence, and mismanagement that is found there is oftentimes replicated in the SEZs. One of the reasons for the success of the Tshwane SEZ has been the partnership between the government and the private sector, where both co-govern the management structure. Many African and South African SEZs are not linked to their domestic economies, but operate largely as enclaves, disconnected from the national economy and local businesses (Litwack & Qian, 1998). Investors in SEZs are also insufficiently linked to local suppliers. And there are for the most part no special efforts to strengthen the capacity of local suppliers who may not have the capacity to deliver inputs to foreign companies in the SEZs. For another, SEZs also often do not integrate primary, secondary, and tertiary industries into the investor supply chain. Unlike in China, Singapore, or Taiwan, African and South African SEZs regularly do not integrate the boosting of research and development into the industrial value chains of companies in the SEZs (Zeng, 2017). The technical learning, knowledge transfer, and industrial upgrading is therefore not as effective as it has been in many Chinese, South Korean, or Singaporean SEZs. This means that the positive spillover effects of SEZs are absent or minimised. Many African and South African SEZs have faced opposition because they were constructed on sites where local residents had to be forced off their land, moved out of their homes, and their ancestral and historical sites disturbed. This has led to local communities often being hostile to SEZs in their areas. For example, communities opposed the construction of the Makhado, in Limpopo, and Dube Port, in KwaZulu-Natal, SEZs over allegations that their land rights had been trampled on. It is therefore crucial that land, property, and historically sensitive site disputes with local communities over the location of SEZs are resolved in a participatory manner. More importantly, SEZs must not be located on sites where it involves displacing communities, expropriating their property, and desecrating their historical sites. SEZs: Policy lessons for South Africa There has to be a solid business case for creating an SEZ. However, many of South Africa’s SEZs have been established without a credible business case. In 2001, the government established the Coega Industrial Development Zone in Gqeberha to create an integrated steel producing hub. The steel hub was not based on a business case that looked at global demand over the coming years. Not surprisingly, the government struggled to attract initial anchor business investors. The business case for the Musina Makhado SEZ in Limpopo is also not clear. The Musina Makhado SEZ is supposed to be an energy metallurgical cluster centred around a coal cluster, which consists of 20 interdependent industrial plants, including ferrochrome, ferromanganese, stainless steel, high manganese steel and vanadium steel, thermal, coking, coal washery and lime, and cement plants. The Limpopo provincial government said 11 memorandums of understanding have been signed with the Chinese government for investment of around US$1.1 billion. The government said 70% of what would be produced will be exported to China. But there is a real danger that the Musina Makhado SEZ may not align to global demand, so crucial to the success of any SEZ. In September 2021, China’s President Xi Jinping (Volcovici, Brunnstrom & Nichols, 2021) told the United Nations General Assembly that China will not build any new coal-fired power projects overseas, in support of increasing its green and low-carbon energy footprint in developing countries – which raised questions around building a coal cluster SEZ in Limpopo based on exports to China. The South African government often takes a long time to put legal, regulatory, and institutional structures in place for SEZs – and sometimes even longer to operationalise. When finally in operation, business procedures are slowed down by red tape, and special customs and tax are incoherently applied. In comparison, the Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates could grant a license to establish a business within 24 hours of submitting all the required documents. The problem is that South African national, provincial or city governments often do not have an adequate understanding of the requirements of businesses they want to invest in the SEZ. The government services provided for SEZs are also frequently not tailored for the investors they want to attract. Then Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies announced the formation of the Musina Makhado SEZ in 2017. However, the project has yet to get off the ground. In March 2021, the Limpopo Economic Development and Tourism Department temporarily stopped the project, saying its environmental impact assessment was “insufficient”. The project was also deemed not to have widely consulted with local communities, traditional authorities, and farmers. Countries face heavy competition for foreign investment, which can go anywhere in the world. This means countries cannot afford to give the same or a lesser value proposition to competitor countries. Despite this, incentives to attract private sector investors in South Africa are often uncompetitive. South Africa’s special economic zone tax incentive was introduced into the Income Tax Act, but it is overly bureaucratic compared to other countries’ SEZ tax incentives – for example, to qualify, the Minister of Trade and Industry and Minister of Finance must approve. Qualified companies can get a reduced corporate tax rate of 15% instead of the current 28% rate (SARS, 2018). Furthermore, companies could get an accelerated depreciation allowance of 10% on cost of any new and unused buildings or improvement owned by the qualifying company (SARS, 2018). Morocco, in comparison, has seven Special Economic Zones, with no corporate taxes for the first five years and significantly reduced rates thereafter (Böhmer, 2011). In Morocco, companies have exemption from building and equipment tax for the first 15 years, and goods entering or leaving the SEZ are not subject to laws on foreign exchange. Companies are also exempted from dividends and share taxes when paid to non-residents and a low tax rate of 7.5% if they are paid to locals. Morocco has built a successful aeronautics industry through attracting global aeronautics players to manufacture for export in the country – with the export industry now accounting for US$2 billion in export revenues. It is critical that SEZ industries are linked to the local enterprises – through market opportunities, access to finance, technology, and training (Rifaoui, 2021). Morocco has focused on building full industry ecosystems in the SEZs, using the SEZs to develop an export manufacturing sector in very specific areas. The country has, importantly, ensured that all the firms in the SEZs are industrially interconnected, linked to local players, and the products linked to global supply chains. In South Africa, Coega, after a slow start, has increasingly fostered linkages with local SMMEs. During the 2015-2020 period, there was a 35% SMME procurement participation rate (Coega, 2020). The Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, incorporates fiscal incentives, which include complete exemption from taxes, customs and commercial levies; and financial incentives, which include low rents and subsidised energy (Böhmer, 2011). Many global firms want infrastructure incentives to invest in SEZs (Rodríguez-Pose et al, 2022). South Africa not only generally does not offer generous infrastructure incentives, but the country’s infrastructure – power, rail, and ports – is also deteriorating, which is actually a disincentive to attract investors for local SEZs. The success so far of the Tshwane SEZ is instructive for other SEZs in South Africa. The Tshwane Automotive SEZ launched in 2019 was initiated by government securing a private sector anchor investor first – the Ford Motor Company – rather than government being the anchor investor. The Tshwane SEZ is co-governed in a genuine public-private partnership. Most SEZs in South Africa have been state-led and started without a private sector anchor investor. In the Tshwane SEZ, Ford, the national and provincial governments, and the City of Tshwane have been co-governing the SEZ in a public-private partnership from the start. Ford is represented on the management board of the entity, which includes representatives of the dtic, Gauteng Department of Economic Development, and the City of Tshwane. The SEZ has been given clean audits since its inception, and the government has spent R2 billion on the project. In South Africa, SEZs have not been integrated into a long-term development plan, industrialisation, or growth plan. Such a plan must be based on an analysis of the state of the country’s economy, its development needs, and its human capital. Related to this, there has to be a comprehensive analysis of the country’s comparative position in the global economy, trade, and supply chains. In fact, most of the SEZs in South Africa have been set up for ad hoc policy objectives, either by national or provincial governments, such as only job creation or only attracting foreign investment. Many of South Africa’s SEZs operate largely as enclaves, disconnected from the national economy and local businesses. Investors in SEZs are insufficiently linked to local suppliers. There are often no special efforts to strengthen the capacity of local suppliers who may not have the capacity to deliver inputs to foreign companies in the SEZs. For another, SEZs also often do not integrate primary, secondary, and tertiary industries into the investor supply chain. SEZs have also not been able to effectively upgrade South Africa’s skills, industrial and technology bases. Unlike in China, Singapore, or Taiwan, African SEZs also often do not integrate the boosting of research and development into the industrial value chains of companies in the SEZs. The technical learning, knowledge transfer and industrial upgrading in South African SEZs has therefore not been as effective as it has been in many Chinese, South Korean or Singaporean SEZs. This means that the positive spillover effects of SEZs are absent. The problem for South Africa is that SEZs have not delivered the volume of export manufacturing, value add production or employment as expected. Neva Makgetla writes that national government transfers to SEZs amounted to R1.1 billion in 2020-2021, from R600 million in 2013-2014, and after a peak of R1.7 billion in 2017-2018. However, Makgetla rightly says that these figures excluded provincial transfers, which for example in the Eastern Cape ran up to R500 million a year (Makgetla, 2021). According to the dtic figures, in 2021, Coega accounted for half of the private investment to SEZs, the East London IDZ accounted for 20% and the Dube Trade Port for 10% (dtic, 2021; Makgetla, 2021). Over the 2013 to 2019 period, manufacturing employment dropped by 3.7% and valued added manufacturing only rose 0.7% (Makgetla, 2021). Many of South Africa’s SEZs have frequently faced opposition because they were constructed on sites where local residents were forced off their land; or they were constructed without being sensitive to the environment (Buthelezi, 2022). This has often caused the SEZs to face community, court, and civil society challenges – making it difficult for them to get off the ground. There really needs to be greater consultation and involvement of local communities and environmental safeguards when sites for SEZs are identified. Conclusion The location of SEZs is no longer a comparative advantage, which means that SEZs will have to be internationally competitive. SEZs can only be successful and competitive if they are a well-thought-out part of a national development, growth, and industrial plan. There must be a business case for SEZs, based on the country’s comparative advantages, and they must be internationally and locally competitive. They have to be governed competently, honestly, and according to consistently implemented laws. SEZs have to be closely monitored, benchmarked, and have clear goals. They must be held accountable for their performance, and if they fail, they may have to in some cases be reduced as SEZs. They must also operate in ways that safeguard the environment, use green technology, and uphold human rights. SEZs must resolve Africa’s industrialisation challenges, including the inability since colonialism and apartheid to link African products to global value chains. In addition, Africa has not only struggled to add value to its primary commodities, but has also struggled to build manufacturing, diversify product offerings, and produce export industries. Africa has been unable to secure new technology, knowledge, and skills. The reality is that unless SEZs can help African countries accomplish all these important tasks, there is no business case to establish them. 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Chinese Investments in Special Economic Zones in Africa: Progress, Challenges, and Lessons Learned. Washington, DC: World Bank. Yeung, Y. M., Lee, J., & Kee, G. 2009. China’s special economic zones at 30, Eurasian Geography and Economics, 50(2): 222-240. Zeng, D.Z. 2012. China’s Special Economic Zones and Industrial Clusters: Success and Challenges, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Zeng, D.Z. 2017. Special Economic Zones: Lessons from the Global Experience, PEDL Synthesis Paper Series, 1. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. 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  • The significance of Max Price's 'Statues and Storms. Leading through change' for higher education public policy in South Africa

    Copyright © 2024 Print ISSN: 2960-1541 Online ISSN: 2960-155X Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8000 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute D I S C L A I M E R Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or those of their respective Board or Council members. JANUARY 2024 by Dr Douglas Blackmur Abstract The events of the FeesMustFall (FMF) challenge to the South African government’s higher education policies, through its assault on individual universities and the higher education system during the period 2015 to 2017, have seen the emergence of a relatively extensive and varied academic literature. At the time of writing this article – January/February 2024 – the most recent addition is the book by Max Price, “Statues and Storms. Leading through change” (hereinafter Statues and Storms) (Price, 2023). Price was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT) from 2008 to 2018. Statues and Storms arguably contains much that is relevant to the quality and development of higher education public policy in South Africa, matters that, however, were not Price’s explicit purpose to address. This article, on the other hand, using Statues and Storms as the point of departure, explores the national public policy significance of certain of the issues and events it documents. Some of the discussion in this article is, at times, speculative and/or conjectural.  The article is a preliminary enquiry which raises certain public policy issues without always offering a final judgement on their significance. It is thus an invitation to scholars to conduct further research which will hopefully both assess the quality of the analysis in this article and unearth further matters not considered here at all. Introduction The events of the FeesMustFall challenge to the South African government’s higher education policies, through its assault on individual universities and the higher education system during the period 2015 to 2017, have seen the emergence of a relatively extensive and varied academic literature. A few examples include Habib (2019), Jansen (2017), Booysen (2016), Chikane (2018), and Benatar (2021). Some of this literature has been discussed previously (see, for example, Blackmur, 2019, 2021, 2023). At the time of writing this article – January/February 2024 – the most recent addition is the book by Max Price, “Statues and Storms. Leading through change” (hereinafter Statues and Storms) (Price, 2023). Price was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT) from 2008 to 2018. Both Habib and Jansen were former Vice Chancellors whose books, in common with Price’s, employ a participant observation and engagement method of analysis, as does the book by Chikane, a prominent leader in the FMF movement.  Statues and Storms arguably contains much that is relevant to the quality and development of higher education public policy in South Africa, matters that, however, were not Price’s explicit purpose to address. This article, on the other hand, using Statues and Storms as the point of departure, explores the national public policy significance of certain of the issues and events it documents. The waves of protests that erupted in 2015 constituted a national phenomenon not seen in universities since 1994. It contained a wide range of demands of which reduced fees – and ultimately free higher education to students – and fundamental changes to curricular were the most important. The years between 1994 and 2015 were, however, far from a haven of complete tranquility in South African universities. Concerns over several specific events, such as initiation ceremonies, were prominent in public debate. Any suggestions, however, that these tensions were clear portents of what ultimately became a serious and often violent national challenge to government higher education policy, through rendering the universities ungovernable (Price, 2023: 168), would be a paradigm case of hindsight bias. On the surface, despite these ongoing tensions in the period leading up to 2015, the atmosphere at universities such as UCT nevertheless seemed within the bounds of normality. This is captured in Price’s remarks about UCT graduation ceremonies: “…, I would meet three generations of family members - all of whom took enormous pride in having studied at and graduated from UCT. … more moving was the regular experience of being introduced by a first-generation graduate to her parents from a rural village, … They could not contain their emotions about graduation – their son or daughter now a doctor, accountant, lawyer or engineer. This was the visible evidence that UCT was playing a role in transforming … lives…” (Price, 2023: 9). By 2014, on the other hand, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) had concluded that progress in the higher education transformation project left a great deal to be desired. It decided that, on the basis of “a number of complaints on transformation issues in universities”, it would conduct “a holistic examination of transformation in institutions of higher learning in South Africa”. (SAHRC, 2017: vii). The final Report, issued on 9 December 2016, although overtaken by events in some respects, argued, on the basis of evidence belonging to the period before 2015, that transformation in higher education was unduly slow for a wide range of reasons. These included a lack of a shared understanding of what was meant by ‘transformation’ in the South African higher education context; a lack of institutional will to address transformation issues; lack of commitment to multilingualism; slow progress in changing student and staff demographics; inadequate accommodation, which hindered racial integration in university residences; governance failures; underfunding of universities by the state; ineffective complaints handling systems; subcultures of discrimination and domination within universities; and a lack of adequate oversight by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to ensure that institutions of higher learning did in fact transform (SAHRC, 2017: viii-ix). Max Price’s book exposes many policy issues that are not considered in this article. Had space permitted, government policy with respect to the outsourcing of various university services; the politisation of the university; the evolution of the ‘welfare university’; the massification of higher education; the ‘missing middle’ in fees’ policy; and labour law issues in universities would have been analysed in some detail. Three significant public policy areas arising out of Statues and Storms are discussed in this article: the quality of the information and analysis available to the government on the performance of the higher education system; FMF Mark 2 and the adequacy of current public higher education funding policy; and some public policy issues in the decolonisation of higher education curricular. Concluding remarks follow. The quality of the information and analysis available to the government regarding the state of the South African universities and the FMF challenge The evidence collected by the SAHRC in its 2014 enquiry (evidence had also been assembled in 2008, 2010, and 2012 by other public investigations) suggested that all was not well in the South African university system albeit not at or near boiling point. But presumably the full picture was more complex. Max Price later referred to the “colonial institutional landscape and culture of UCT” (Price, 2023: 197). Earlier critics had alleged a racist institutional culture at UCT and in other universities (Chikane, 2018: 25, 37, 39). Such a culture (this term also needs clear definition) does not, however, emerge overnight and was arguably present when Price conducted his due diligence before accepting the post of Vice Chancellor. It was still present eight years into his appointment. This suggests important research questions. Do the records reveal – in the years leading up to the FMF challenge to the university system and to the government – any individual students, any student body, alumni, convocation, staff association, and/or any trade union making submissions on matters that subsequently informed the demands of FMF, to the appropriate senior UCT university management, council, senate, institutional forum, and especially the UCT Ombud, a major source of information and advice to the UCT Council (Mpati et al, 2023)? Were, furthermore, such submissions made to state bodies such as the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), Council on Higher Education (CHE), Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC), DHET, Minister and Ministry of Higher Education and Training, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Innovation, opposition parties, and the media? Did the South African State Security Agency (SSA) offer assessments to the government of the levels of volatility of student politics – accusations were made during the FMF protests of security service, foreign and domestic, involvement (Price, 2023: 301-302)? Did ANC-affiliated student bodies provide similar intelligence? If even a reasonable amount of this communication on the state of the universities was managed and analysed effectively, the principal decision- makers seem not to have taken it seriously, or not to have converted it into concrete policy decisions including plans for timely implementation. Jansen argues that “the universities themselves were caught napping, unprepared for the sudden backlash for which they had neither the resources to meet student demands, the skill to negotiate the new politics, nor the security to protect campus lives and property” (Jansen, 2017: 1). Paradoxically, however, university vice chancellors were excused from this criticism. They, according to Jansen, had for several years warned the African National Congress (ANC) national government of the “dangers of the decline in government subsidies and the steady increase in student fees” (Jansen, 2017: 2; Habib, 2019: x, xii; Price, 2023: 96-105). Perhaps these warnings lacked sufficient credibility: maybe the government believed that they contained an element of crying wolf. And ‘dangers’ could refer to a wide variety of more or less likely financial possibilities. The reasons the government was apparently so poorly informed regarding the very wide range of pressures within the university system in the mid-2000s require identification, analysis and reform of some, perhaps all, of the means by which it develops and implements public higher education policy. A national enquiry into these matters, in order to effectively minimise the chances of being caught again by surprise, is indicated. There may, indeed, be a systemic proneness in government decision-making processes and structures to being “caught napping” across a range of policy matters, which needs to be addressed quickly. The literature on surprise attacks might be drawn upon in this regard. It discusses the risks of an “absence of a mechanism for aggregating, sifting, and analysing warning information flowing in from many sources and for pushing it up to the decision-making level of government” (Posner, 2009: 123). An enquiry arguably should commence with an examination of the quality of the work over the last 15 or so years of the higher education regulatory bodies, CHE and HEQC – its terms of reference must embrace examining the possibility that either or both bodies may have experienced regulatory capture. Surely such bodies ought to have kept, and keep, a watching brief on the changing environment and nature of South African universities, thereby to act as an early warning system to government of stresses in the system that may require a sometimes urgent policy response. At the individual university level, government might amend institutional statutes to require that ‘the skill to negotiate the new politics’ forms part of the selection criteria, and performance contracts, for senior university management including vice chancellors. A further provision consistent with improving public confidence in managerial integrity would be to require all university academics, at and above the position of Dean, and equivalent administrative staff, to display their up-to-date curricula vitae, and copies of their postgraduate thesis(es), on the appropriate website. The legislation governing the activities and responsibilities of the regulatory agencies, moreover, might be amended to endow them with defined, but wide, powers as an economic regulator, with an emphasis on higher education costs, revenues and fees (and any other higher education economic matters they select, or are referred to them by government or other stakeholders). FMF Mark 2? Will current public higher education funding policy survive? Assuming that there is a significant limit in the not-too-distant future to the resources taxpayers (Blackmur, 2023: 42) are prepared to see allocated to higher education, then the cost/revenue pressures that contributed to the massive disruption of the universities by FMF could again become of concern. A repeat performance of the FMF response is arguably thus within the realm of possibility. Even now there are straws in the wind such as a scathing report on the quality of governance and racial issues at UCT, investigations into accusations of inappropriate university initiation ceremonies, allegations of inadequate university student accommodation, and protests over the arguably appalling performance of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) (Mpati et al, 2023; Hlati, 2024; Kahn, 2024). This helps make the case for major, and urgent, public enquiries into both the costs of the higher education system and its component universities, and the economics of non-taxpayer funding options. These enquiries arguably must, amongst other things, challenge several fallacious sacred cows such as the principle of the desirability of undiluted institutional autonomy, arguments that higher education must not be ‘commodified’, and also is a ‘public good’ – it isn’t (Blackmur, 2023: 43-44). The concept of a ‘public good’ originated in Economics (Backhouse, 2023: 354-355) and is associated with scholars such as Paul Samuelson. It has arguably been over-simplified by a wide variety of non-economists to justify a political position in favour of taxpayer funding of higher education. In this context, a public policy that permits all students to take loans that can cover all the costs of obtaining a qualification arguably ranks highly amongst the options for consideration by an enquiry (Blackmur, 2023). It would, amongst other things, dispose of the concept of the ‘missing middle’, an artifact of a certain specific financial plan, which has distorted public debate and policy thinking (Price, 2023: 108). The element of urgency in these proposals arises because of recent, current, and likely future significant upward pressures on the costs of providing higher education qualifications and other university functions. This is a huge field of analysis (essential reading includes: Moodie, 2016, especially chapters 1 and 2) and only a few issues can be explored even briefly in this article. General inflation is one of these pressures, exchange rate weakness is another. Jonathan Jansen has developed the concept of the ‘welfare university’ (Jansen, 2017: 9-10, 172-193). He has expanded earlier ideas advanced by Charles van Onselen that South African governments were “in danger of confusing … welfare and educational responsibilities to the detriment of both” (Jansen, 2017: 172). This has come to pass. Jansen concludes that “in recent years South African universities have gradually taken on more and more social welfare functions that stretch way beyond what was previously expected from a modern university” (Jansen, 2017: 177). The costs of managing these functions have included those associated with the often significant related expansion of university administrative systems, the costs of many of which are not accommodated in taxpayer subsidies to higher education (Jansen, 2017: 187; Price, 2023: 73, 87, 91). And the prospects for the future are for greater welfarisation in terms of cost and scope (Jansen, 2017: 180, 181, 189). A harbinger of this can be found in the United Kingdom where recent research has examined the “effects of the cost-of-living crisis on students” (Freeman, 2023: 1). This reveals that “universities are being forced to take steps which would have been unthinkable” just a few years ago: “university leaders and students’ union officers have pushed boundaries to get students more help” (Freeman, 2023: 2). The additional costs of such assistance is, however, unsustainable (Freeman, 2023: 3). The terms of reference of the enquiry into the costs and revenues of the university system that this article has advocated would arguably need to include the future of the welfare university in South Africa and the possible consequences of its failure. Thinking about the balance sheet issues facing South African universities would also need to embrace matters such as policies needed to improve staff and capital productivity. Structural issues are also relevant. Higher education debates in South Africa are conducted on the assumption that the vertically integrated structure of qualifications’ production is permanent (design, delivery, assessment, certification). At some point, however, public policy may well need to question the utility of this assumption. Costs may be reduced, and benefits increased, if, for example, the design and/or assessment stages were conducted in independent institutions. Several South African universities suffer certain major adverse pressures on their costs and income that can only possibly be alleviated and reversed through major public policy interventions – of types that do not offend against Rawlsian principles of social justice (Blackmur, 2023: p.42). The source of some of these pressures is to be found in serious corruption in these universities. The evidence for this state of affairs is analysed in Jonathan Jansen’s book “Corrupted. A study of chronic dysfunction in South African universities” (Jansen, 2023). He showed that in some universities there exists looting of “institutional resources on an industrial scale”, some of which is linked to the growth of the welfare university (Jansen, 2023: 5; Price, 2023: 73). Jansen drew attention to the consequent “high costs of institutional instability for staff and students, as well as for the disadvantaged communities surrounding the campus” (Jansen, 2023: 3). Put succinctly, corruption diverts financial and human resources from the academic project, inflates costs, and reduces income, which infusions of additional taxpayer funds can only make worse. A key public policy question is why, as it seems, the national government was unaware of the extent of this systemic malaise. This reinforces the major importance of the earlier proposal here for an urgent national enquiry (with judicial status?) into the methods and performance of the government’s key higher education regulators and advisers such as CHE, HEQC, SAQA, and DHET. Regulatory failure may be one of many possible egregious systemic failures in higher education. There have, to be sure, been ministerial and other interventions in some university activities – since 1998 at least (Jansen, 2023: 254-256). These have been piecemeal examinations on a case-by-case basis: systemic implications, and the extent to which South Africa’s higher education legislation has enabled (or not addressed) opportunities for corruption and other deviations from the purposes of higher education, have been underemphasised. The probable adverse impact of these circumstances on the reputation of the South African higher education system is unlikely to be trivial. Potential consequences are especially important for university revenues. Some university systems, such as that of Australia, for example, earn income from exports of higher education services, which is of national economic significance (Universities Australia, 2020, 2023; Rhodes University Business School, 2023). Such an opportunity will be denied to South Africa under current conditions. Even relatively high performing universities will suffer some collateral damage given that the system’s quality is compromised, and not only to their international activities but also to the acceptability of their qualifications globally. In addition to the problems already raised, seizing these opportunities requires that certain other issues be addressed by South African policymakers. They include ensuring that all South African higher education qualifications are internationally competitive in terms of scholarly and intellectual standards; removing any visa barriers; combatting xenophobia; resisting hostile attitudes in some university quarters to entrepreneurial activity; and insisting on regulation that is hospitable to international trade and investment in higher education. Objections will, of course, be raised to some of these policies. They can, however, be designed and implemented in ways sensitive to some alternative conceptions of the purposes of universities. The extent to which the South African higher education system might benefit from income generated by the export of qualifications will largely depend, however, on the nature of such compromises and whether they discourage international students. If sufficient numbers were deterred this would result in South Africa, perhaps inadvertently, pursuing a policy of autarky in higher education. The extent of any legislative and/or regulatory impediments to innovation in qualifications, and the marketing of higher education services more generally, needs to be identified by appropriate public enquiries. Intelligent removal of such impediments can enhance the flow of third-stream net income. Two examples are offered for consideration. Universities may offer a fee-for-service “walk in” assessment and certification of a person’s knowledge of, say, Strategic Management. Costs would be minimised by employing existing processes. There would be no entry rules, thereby eliminating costs on this account. This is a form of Recognition of Prior Learning (or of recognition of existing skills) without, however, the costs associated with the traditional rule-bound model. Consideration might also be given to allowing students to design some or all of their degree programmes. Such degrees would be issued by, say, the national higher education department, or an appropriate regulatory authority, or a university body such as Universities South Africa. This qualifications’ model could be built on the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) system. A major advantage of this system is the relatively low fees, which include the costs of existing, highly credible quality assurance and assessment processes. Appropriate regulation would nevertheless clearly be necessary, as would negotiations with international (and domestic) high reputation universities. This is not, however, the place to present a fully specified MOOC degree model. The important point is that South African higher education public policy, regulation and legislation would require significant amendment if this model were to be awarded a place in the higher education system. The key question is whether, if fully implemented, this model would allow significant numbers of South African tertiary students to obtain high quality degrees at a fraction of current costs. Given the vital importance of this, as demonstrated by the FMF protests and sometimes physically violent agitation, evaluation of a fully specified model is arguably an immediate priority for the national government. Serious opposition to these proposals, however, is predicable to the extent that the MOOC model might attract students away from existing universities. They may be tempted to protect their existing position and status by means that include political pressure, possibly in an informal alliance with HEC and HEQC. These bodies in the past have erected various barriers to entry against international universities attempting to operate in South Africa (Blackmur, 2004; Blackmur, 2006). This brief discussion of some of the cost and revenue pressures in the South African higher education system maintains that there is an element of urgency in conducting the various enquiries that have been recommended (Moodie, 2016). The durability of the 2016-17 settlement with FMF is not guaranteed, indeed it looks increasingly fragile. And there is a wider context in which the future of higher education will be determined. William Gumede has argued that the essential dimensions of this context are “corruption, incompetence and policy populism”, which together may precipitate an economic crisis in which “higher education subsidies, for institutions and students, will have to be scrapped” (Gumede, 2023). Should this come to pass, student reactions are unlikely to be mild or delicate. Decolonisation of higher education curricular: some public policy issues Statues and Storms addressed many aspects of FMF’s insistence that students receive ‘free, quality, decolonised’ higher education (Price, 2023: 69-86, 146, 201-202, 229, 265-6, 283). The notion of decolonised higher education embraces an extremely wide range of concepts and issues, much of which is disputed. Himonga and Diallo assert that “the definition of decolonisation is unsettled, if not contested” (Himonga & Diallo, 2017). They cite Price and Ally in this context as arguing that “decolonisation … should certainly not be reduced to some naïve … desire to return to a pristine, unblemished Africa before the arrival of the settlers” (Himonga & Diallo, 2017). Even this assessment, however, would be considered controversial in some quarters by its use of the word ‘settlers’: just who are the settlers in the long sweep of southern African history? A model of curriculum de-colonisation has been presented by Conrad Hughes, the Campus and Secondary Principal at the International School of Geneva (Hughes, 2021). It repays study as part of the process of getting to grips with some difficult definitional and content matters. It stimulates, amongst other things, certain questions (with few direct answers), for example, about the study of historical writing and analysis in a de-colonised curriculum. Would this deal with slavery in all societies and across all times including modern slavery; with empires and imperialism in similar vein; with the status of women everywhere; with religion; with racial prejudice; with monarchy; with exploitation in all its forms and in every society; and with ‘myths’ in all societies? In common with traditional social science and humanities disciplines, Hughes’s article contains extensive jargon and, particularly to the uninitiated, opaque concepts. What methods of enquiry, furthermore, would be approved? Will Critical Race Theory be adopted as paradigmatic? Does Hughes ask if concepts such as ‘whiteness’ and ‘blackness’ possess any epistemological integrity? ‘Great person’ approaches to historical writing are rejected by Hughes on a priori grounds. Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, and Gilles Deleuze are embraced almost uncritically. A principal objection to the Hughes’ model, however, is that he rejects the concept of standards in intellectual and scholarly enquiry (and presumably everywhere else). If this were ultimately to inform the redesign of curricular in South African higher education, then fundamental questions about the value, relevance, credibility, reputation, and future of the universities would be at the top of the public policy agenda, and not only in South Africa. Claims that decolonisation of the curriculum in universities (variously and widely conceptualised) was a “good thing” were certainly a major component of the extensive higher education transformation agenda of FMF. A key question for this article is whether there is a role for government in a process of major curriculum change. Is the nature of university curricular a proper subject for public regulation? Assuming that it is for purposes of discussion, what matters would have to be taken into account if the South African government were contemplating using its powers in this regard? Issues to do with academic freedom (constitutionally protected in South Africa) and institutional autonomy would certainly be raised. These are two of the sacred cows in South African higher education, although arguably rarely respected in principle and/or practice by FMF and some academic staff. To the extent that the FMF assertions regarding, for example, the “toxic” nature of the “institutional culture” in many South African universities were accurate, it may be relevant to observe that such apartheid characteristics apparently continued post-1994 under circumstances ostensibly of academic freedom and institutional autonomy. Both of these thus may well be candidates for a comprehensive reassessment by the government and the regulators of their appropriateness to contemporary and future South African higher education. Given the complex issues associated with definitions of decolonisation, and the wide and often contentious nature of what decolonised curricular might look like, there is a case for government to require that regulators audit samples of redesigned, decolonised curricular against certain principles which, of course, will no doubt be questioned by some. Such curricular samples will, amongst other things, thus be expected to explain and justify their definitions, educational philosophies, and operational details together with analyses of their particular pros and cons. A range of exemplars might thereby be developed over time, from which decolonisation projects might benefit. Such regulation would necessarily have to be conducted in terms of the principles of efficient regulation, which may well require closer public evaluation and supervision of the performance of the regulators themselves. One further advantage of public regulation would be to add credibility to the decolonisation process without stultifying innovation in curriculum design. How do we know, for example, that ‘inappropriate’ colonial thought wouldn’t simply be replaced by, say,  “pseudo-Fanonist  political ideology” or ScienceMustFall nostrums (Price, 2023: 146, 265-266, 283), or by curricular consistent with universities operating more like party political schools than as specified in their legislated purposes (Habib, 2019: 201-204), if each university were to have final authority over the design of decolonised curricular? Matters of academic freedom and institutional autonomy come to the fore here, but as noted earlier, these values have not always commanded respect in the past in all parts of the South African higher education system. Just who might be involved in creating (and eventually revising) decolonised curricular is clearly an important policy matter for government. This decision arguably cannot be left to internal university processes alone: something as revolutionary as the curriculum decolonisation process must be conducted under the protection of a complex of safeguards of the global credibility of South African university qualifications. This discussion by no means exhausts the list of matters that a government considering forms of public intervention, or specific input into certain aspects of university curriculum decolonisation, needs to consider. Other matters include recognising the massive complexity of the decolonisation enterprise in that “good learning design aligns learning goals, learning activities, and assessment”, while culture, careers, and knowledge are “useful concepts for encapsulating three central aspects of university curriculum” (Moodie, 2016: 63-65, 68, 71, 73, 81). To what extent, moreover, are employers’ and students’ views concerning curriculum change to be accepted as dominant contributions; are current structures of subjects, courses, semesters, and assessments to be considered sacrosanct; is the internationalism of curricular an acceptable objective; is it lawful for academics to be assigned ‘decolonial scores’ by students (Price, 2023: 229); are ‘Western’ sports such as soccer to be banned from university campuses; and how are the inevitable conflicts over these, and a multitude of other issues, to be resolved? And unintended consequences and black swans will almost certainly complicate decision-making and execution, perhaps beyond any reasonable expectations. One conclusion is certain. A ‘revolutionary’ reform of higher education curricular, however desirable in itself, will not just be extremely complex. It is likely to be exceptionally costly as well. And perhaps more costly than it could be, given that it is politically impossible in South Africa to contract with private bodies, however well qualified, to participate in the curriculum re-design process. The analysis in this article is, in a sense, back where it started: what should be the sources of funding for the costs associated with the decolonisation of the curriculum? Universities are presumably unable to provide funding from internal sources. Should the taxpayer provide the necessary resources? Does government have the fiscal and political capacity to increase certain taxes, borrow the funds, or redirect public expenditures from other budgets for, say, social grants and/or expanding early childhood education? All of these, especially the latter, raise serious matters of equity and fairness (Blackmur, 2023: 41-43): why should taxpayer funds be devoted to financing curriculum change the benefits of which will accrue almost exclusively to university graduates? Curriculum reform pressures may, moreover, extend beyond issues of decolonisation. Demands may be made to, say, de-gender, or to de-ableist, the curriculum. Responding to these would clearly have major cost implications. Conclusion A paradox confronts researchers of the FMF movement (and all other fallist movements in South African higher education). On the one hand, UCT – and many other universities – was accused of being tainted by a long-standing toxic culture of institutional racism and an inappropriate colonial curriculum. On the other, it seems that more and more students from historically disadvantaged families were increasingly anxious to enrol in degree studies there, even though presumably more culturally appropriate alternatives such as the University of the Western Cape were available. Price’s accounts of proud parents and graduates invites the question as to why such students would wish to study under UCT’s allegedly toxic conditions. And, perhaps more to the point, why were national governments apparently relatively complacent with respect to this culture in what was often called Africa’s premier university? The accusations were not made in secret! The paradox, however, may be more apparent than real. It may well oversimplify extremely complex patterns of decisions and events. It nevertheless stimulates some useful questions and ideas. In addition to the public policy issues raised in this article, others of relevance emanating from the material in Statues and Storms include the nature of government attitudes and policies towards universities as corporate entities, and some of their staff, acting as partisan advocates of specific political, economic, social, religious, cultural, and other ideologies in ways inconsistent with liberal values such as those found in the South African Constitution. Another concerns the extent to which the government is prepared to tolerate the use of violence (physical and/or mental) in the determination of public policy in a democracy, and the proper role of the police on university campuses. If there is a significant possibility that a FMF Mark 2 will challenge the national government in the foreseeable future in ways reminiscent of 2015/17, then government arguably ought to be better prepared than previously. This article argues that such preparation requires, amongst other things, a public enquiry into the quality of the government’s methods of developing higher education public policy and especially into the efficiency of the relevant regulators in providing information and advice on changes in the functioning of the university system. The addition of a University Complaints Regulator to the institutional structure, either as a separate entity or as part of revising existing arrangements, might be the best way of creating an early warning system regarding emerging instabilities in the universities. Such a body might liaise closely with a University Economic Regulator. This would mean that individual university councils would be deprived of their final authority to determine student fees. Other public enquiries advocated in this article include major, and urgent, public examinations of both the costs of the higher education system and its component universities, and the economics of non-taxpayer funding options. This latter is important because it would necessarily expose the model of a full cost student loan system to public analysis and further review beyond that contained in the Heher report (The Presidency, 2017). An essential dimension of this model is typically ignored in public debate: a critical source of funding the current costs of obtaining university qualifications is the future income that graduates earn as a result of their university qualifications. This article has suggested that a review of higher education legislation is also warranted to determine if there are any statutory barriers to the proper functioning of the university system, especially to innovation in qualifications and the development of extra sources of third-stream income. The model for this could be the exhaustive analysis of state and national legislation in Australia in the 1990s as part of a National Competition Policy. There is arguably a place for government engagement in any process of curriculum reform in South African universities. Students, academics, and a host of other stakeholders clearly have vital roles to play. But control of the agenda and of who participates in the process, and especially the making of final decisions, cannot be left exclusively to them: there are risks of conflicts of interest, serious disputes over, say, ideological issues, as well as cost considerations all of which establish a vital public interest, and therefore the major role for government, in the outcomes of curriculum reform. Perhaps the most important of these is the effect of reformed curricular on the international reputation of South African higher education qualifications. A high reputation is an extremely significant national asset. Curriculum matters are, of course, not the only determinant of reputation. The nature and performance of the higher education system is the ultimate influence, and intelligent national higher education public policy, informed by an appropriate historical perspective, is a key to success. Acknowledgements I thank Professor Glyn Davis AC for comments on an earlier draft of this article. I also acknowledge the input of my partner, Ms Gina Verberne. All errors and interpretations are entirely my responsibility. References Backhouse, R. 2023. The Penguin History of Economics. London: Penguin Random House. Benatar, D. 2021. The Fall of the University of Cape Town. Cape Town: Politicsweb Publishing. Blackmur, D. 2004. One size can’t fit all. The CHE’s review of MBAs was ‘seriously flawed’. [Online] Available at: https://mg.co.za/article/2004-08-12-one-size-cant-fit-all/ [accessed: 5 March 2024]. Blackmur, D. 2006. The South African MBA Review and the Principles of Efficient Regulation, Quality in Higher Education, 12(1): 81-93. Blackmur, D. 2019. Adam Habib’s ‘Rebels and Rage. Reflecting on #FeesMustFall’: A Critical Appraisal, South African Journal of Higher Education, 33(4): 44-61. Blackmur, D. 2021. International Resonances of the #FeesMustFall Movement in South African universities: 2015-2017, Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis & Reform, 28(1): 29-45. Blackmur, D. 2023. A Social Justice Policy Framework for Funding the Acquisition of Higher Education Qualifications in South Africa, South African Journal of Higher Education, special edition, 37(6): 41-55. Booysen, S. 2016. Fees Must Fall. Student Revolt, Decolonisation and Governance in South Africa. Johannesburg: Wits University Press. Chikane, R. 2018. Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation. The Politics behind #MustFall Movements. Johannesburg: Picador Africa. Freeman, J. 2023. New report finds more than a quarter of universities have a food bank and one-in-ten distributes food vouchers. Oxford: Higher Education Policy Institute. Gumede, W. 2023. The triple evils pushing us towards doom. [Online] Available at: https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/opinion-and-analysis/opinion/2023-12-17-the-triple-evils-pushing-us-towards-doom/ [accessed: 5 March 2024]. Habib, A. 2019. Rebels and Rage. Reflecting on #FEESMUSTFALL. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball. Himonga, C. & Diallo, F. 2017. Decolonisation and Teaching Law in Africa with Special Reference to Living Customary Law. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, Potchefstroom: Southern African Legal Information Institute. Hlati, O. 2024. NSFAS’ ‘Flawed’ Planning Leaves MPs Outraged. [Online] Available at: https://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/news/nsfas-flawed-planning-leaves-mps-outraged-9cc66b95-cb7d-495f-a329-7a4525069333 [accessed: 5 March 2024]. Hughes, C. 2021. Decolonising the curriculum. Geneva: Council of International Schools. Jansen, J. 2017. As By Fire. The End of the South African University. Cape Town: Tafelberg. Jansen, J. 2023. Corrupted. A study of chronic dysfunction in South African universities. Johannesburg: Wits University Press. Kahn, T. Auditor-General gives NSFAS an F. [Online] Available at: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/education/2024-02-14-auditor-general-gives-nsfas-an-f/#:~:text=The%20office%20of%20the%20auditor,2021%2F22%2C%20its%20worst%20audit [accessed: 5 March 2024]. Mpati, L., Cachalia, A., Johnson, B., & Hanekom, P. 2023. Independent Investigation into UCT Governance. Final Report. Cape Town: UCT Council. Moodie, G. 2016. Universities, Disruptive Technologies, and Continuity in Higher Education. Toronto and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Posner, R. 2009. A Failure of Capitalism. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Price, M. 2023. Statues and Storms. Leading through change. Cape Town: Tafelberg. Rhodes University Business School. 2023. SA should study how Australia exports degrees. Makhanda/Grahamstown: Rhodes University. South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). 2017. SAHRC Report. Transformation at Public Universities in South Africa. Pretoria: South African Government Printer. Universities Australia. 2020. The importance of universities to Australia's prosperity. Melbourne: Deloitte Access Economics. Universities Australia. 2023. International Education adds $29 Billion to the Economy. [Online] Available at: https://universitiesaustralia.edu.au/media-item/international-education-adds-29-billion-to-the-economy/ [accessed: 5 March 2024]. The Presidency. 2017. Report of Commission of Inquiry into the Feasibility of making Higher Education and Training Fee-free in South Africa (Heher Report). Pretoria: South African Government Printer. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. Email: info@inclusivesociety.org.za Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589 Web: www.inclusivesociety.org.za

  • Re-imagining governance in SA: Putting the Constitution first

    Copyright © 2024 Print ISSN: 2960-1541 Online ISSN: 2960-155X Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8000 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute D I S C L A I M E R Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or those of their respective Board or Council members. JANUARY 2024 by Dr Klaus Kotzé Abstract “The Constitution belongs to all of us, not just the ruling party, or one section of South Africa. We all wrote this collectively with our blood, some with their lives, with our tears and with our sweat. We claim it as ours, it enshrines the rights that make us live as South Africans, and we will protect it because it belongs to us” (Ramaphosa, 2012). Introduction South African governance is coming under greater criticism for being poor and ineffective. Instead of expounding on its failures, this paper explores the concept of governance in South Africa and proposes preferential pathways whereby improvement can be found. When governance replaced government at the onset of democratic South Africa, it was a corrective measure responding to the preceding order. Thereby pursuing justice and democracy. Today, a similar, corrective approach is required to intervene and set the country on a better path. Unlike the turn to democracy, today the country is endowed with an instructive Constitution. This paper critically explores the concept and process of governance. It undertakes an exploratory dive into the conceptual meaning of governance in South Africa by looking at how contemporary governance has been shaped by local and global power. It also looks at how the enactment of Constitutional supremacy (rule of law) relates to the preceding system of government, or Parliamentary supremacy (rule by law). It then turns to explore the national loadstar, the Constitution, for perception and guidance as to the ideal processes and practices of governing. Of particular interest is the enactment of Constitutional supremacy through the relationships between the state and citizens. From Government to Governance To perceive contemporary governance, it is useful to contrast it to the previous order. Today, instead of living under the dictat of politicians or institutions, it is the Constitution that directs all subjects of the state (both officials and citizens) to be guided by and give expression to its principles and values. The Constitution provides foundational insight and direction as to the ways and ends of democracy. It guides the re-imagining of governance by strategically charging both leaders and citizens with the responsibility to forge constructive relationships. This interaction forms the pathway to successful, responsive and resolute democracy. For South African governance to succeed, this study highlights that the roles of and relationship between the state and its citizens are indispensable. While much can be and has been said about the failures of the state administration, the citizenry too has been inadequate in constructively discharging its Constitutional. It is, therefore, not only that a re-imagining of public leadership is needed, but a re-imagination of active citizenry; a republican ethos. Governance is not a universal concept that is independent of context and history. To discern South African governance, it must be conceptually located. Under the Parliamentary system in place before the non-racial, democratic era, the concept of ‘rule by law’ reigned. It saw to it that the governing authority and its institutions were able to create and execute laws as it saw fit. Rule by law is thus a “method that governments and people in power use to shape the behaviour of people…this usually has the end goal of psychologically or forcefully persuading people to agree with policy decisions they otherwise would not agree with” (Van Norman Law, 2017). The authority and the people are separated by law. Law is applied by power as tools. Power is imposed upon a people. The concept of power is the individual (or institution) wielding such power. Under the rule of law, the counterpart to rule by law, power is abstracted and resides in philosophical and moral concepts. It is not in institutions, but in concepts, captured in principles such as human dignity and equality, where power lies. These are not ineffable concepts but require people to instil and interpret meaning. The abstraction of power sees to it that it belongs to no-one, yet it prevails over everyone in the state – with the law being circumscribed by the physical borders of the state and its obligations under international law. Laws and ethics are thus captured in a public framework, a loadstar such as the national Constitution. Rule of law is thus the great equaliser. Every citizen is subject to the reign of Constitutional principles. Constitutional supremacy is thus where people pursue and enact the Constitutional ideas and values. These ends (human dignity, equality, etc.) determine and justify the ways they are pursued. As the subjects of the Constitutional state, the citizens are accordingly not ruled over by a prescriptive government. Instead, they have the primary (and note merely latent) responsibility to be the exponents of the Constitutional precepts. An effective and capable Constitutional state rests first on its citizens internalising and then executing its value-based arrangement. They have a secondary charge to ensure that the state representatives pursue the Constitutional ends. Under the rule of law, the role of the state is administrative and bureaucratic. Foucault’s use of governmentality to describe the change from order by law to administrative proceduralism is useful. The conduct of conduct, according to Foucault indicates how “the exercise of power consists in guiding the possibility of conduct and putting in order the possible outcomes” (Foucault, 1982: 789). Governmentality refers to the guidance of behaviour through productive and positive, rather than restrictive means. A more horizontal system whereby citizens engage each other and the institutions. Where citizens willingly give consent and where individuals participate in the process of governance. As such, “governing is an art involving the imaginative application of intuition, knowledge, and skills to administration and management” (Huff, n.d.). In such a system, it is not the administrative state that governs, but the raft of categories and realm of possibilities that citizens are delineated to and provided. We see that governance, from its Greek origin, ‘kybenan’, which means to steer or guide, is premised upon a clear understanding of ends and the pathways towards these ends. The governing role of global power Global power and norms influence the pursuit of the national order. The timing and context of South Africa’s progression to non-racial democracy have played a determining role in shaping domestic governance. A child of the liberal, democratic era, South Africa has been moulded by global power. Its progression to democracy occurred during what is often referred to as the third wave of democracy. During the 1980’s vast swathes of Latin America and the Asia-Pacific became democratic. After the Soviet Union imploded, Eastern Europe and much of sub-Saharan Africa departed from their Soviet-inspired approaches. With the collapse of a guiding alternative, most of the newly democratic states assumed a normative political framework as influenced by Western liberalism. Whereas the liberation movement led by the African National Congress preferred the redistributive mechanisms inspired by the Soviet Union, the globalised Western dogma persuaded it to follow suit. Together with most of the world, South Africa assumed the guiding norms and practices suggested by the Western-led world. It did so to benefit from the privileges of the international order, but also because of the persuasion of predominant norms. In so doing, democratic South Africa commenced from what can be termed: partial sovereignty. Whereas the Constitution has been central to framing procedural governance, the carrot and stick of global dogma played the central guiding role. Partial sovereignty means that South Africa has led by following the models and processes suggested to it (and the world). According to late Stellenbosch University scholar, Sampie Terreblanche, South Africa acquiesced to the “American economic model” of “anti-statism, deregulation, privatisation, fiscal austerity, market fundamentalism and free trade” (Terreblanche, 2018). The concern raised here is not about which policy is better (or worse). Instead, it is about policy independence and the lessons and maturities that stem from critically pursuing policy selection; what today is referred to as finding local solutions for local problems. Sovereignty has traditionally been understood as absolute. A state is either sovereign and thus steers its own polity and policy, or it is not. If true sovereignty cannot be partial, then partial sovereignty is not fully sovereign. Democratic South Africa has largely aligned its administration to the global orthodoxy of good governance. According to the World Bank, good governance refers to “predictable, open and enlightened policymaking” (World Bank, 1994). “Good governance refers to a prescribed set of international characteristics which guide public institutions to behave in a manner that advances (Western) human rights and a liberal, democratic rule of law” (Kotze, 2020). Such a detached, global perception is emblematic of the singular, hegemonic approach to governance. The political affairs of a time sans time, the ‘end of history’: a time when all alternatives collapse into the prevailing and superior (western liberal) model. Again, the purpose is not to criticise any indicator of good governance. It would be unjustifiable to criticise transparency, responsibility, accountability and responsiveness, the good governance attributes identified by the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Instead, the concern is of an imposed set of perceptions that are normatively charged to be locally internalised. Instead, the basis of any type of ‘good’ governance is always first the local or national condition. The issues and prevalences on the ground. Not an arrogated proposition of (often elitist) perspectives that emerge from foreign realities. For state sovereignty to be full, not partial, the decisions must be guided by domestic realities, perceived through domestic intelligence and operationalised by local interpreters. This, as is slowly emerging, would resemble an enlightened perception. Instead of a preponderance of ideas that are en vogue, a rigorous approach must emerge as to how to strategically deal with domestic realities. When South Africa submitted to the standardised set of international norms it may have joined what was at that point the ‘right side of history’, but it failed the strategic task at hand. To develop an indigenous approach to governance, one which would assertively deal with the national condition as consigned by the separate development which preceded it. When the national strategy of Reconstruction and Development was shelved in favour of a growth-oriented approach, South Africa capitulated to the international zeitgeist. Partial sovereignty, which enacts an assumed or foisted upon guiding protocol, cannot see the forest for the trees. It denies fully exploring and developing a system fit for the national condition. As a plant will not mature when planted in alien territory, so a polity cannot mature when it is interpreting itself through the tools and views of another. Governance is an intimately spatial and operational practice. Not only are its ends determined by culture and history, but its pathways must also accord to domestic perceptions. Approaches emerge locally and must give expression to the local reality. Objectives are pursued within a specific (cultural and historic) realm. Successful governance is that which attends to the desires and needs of the people through actions that principally align to the Constitution. Here, both civil servants and citizens alike are the enabling agents tasked to operationalise the work processes and rules of governmentality. In doing so they implement the categories tasked to them. On the other hand, when either the governing administration or the citizens decline their agency. Or when either assumes external norms, governance fails. Governance: lessons from our COVID experience Understanding emerges when things change. If the transition from government to global-inspired governance presents the first turn from which to draw, the return to rule by law during the COVID-19 pandemic offers another. When President Ramaphosa invoked the Disaster Management Act on 15 March 2020, he paused the sovereignty of principles and claimed power in the Executive. While the Constitution provides for such an exception, the contradiction of both government and governance existing at the same time ensured an uneasy synthesis. One that recalls the concept of partial sovereignty. “The form of authority during South Africa’s Disaster presents a synthesis of both claiming and rejecting power. As the exception exists within the norm, an irreconcilability persists which to Schmitt’s (1996) critique of liberalism is captured as impotency. South Africa’s execution of the Act presents a case of both claiming contingent power while resigning to an overriding perception of authority” (Kotze, 2020). The former is expressed in the drafting and implementation of regulations, the latter arises from the external guidance from global institutions and specialists. Ramaphosa strategically seized upon the occasion to invoke the exception to the guiding ‘norm’ by rhetorically giving expression to the current reality and by inspiring the nation to play their part.  During the period under the Disaster Management Act, the Act became the temporary national loadstar. A mechanism “to guide”, “manage”, “facilitate disaster management capacity building, training and education”; and “to provide key performance indicators in respect of the various aspects of disaster management” (Government Gazette, 2003). Like the singular perceptions emergent after the Cold War prompted South Africa (and others) to follow their logics, the novel nature of the pandemic did the same. South Africa (and others) followed a containment protocol that was charted by (select) global authorities. It is not unexpected or even random that the approach that eventually cascaded ever more dramatically under the equally cascading dependence of data, proposed an approach that sought to contain and control. In China, the state where the virus was first detected, the guiding maxim of power and thus the very expression of culture is control. It is not unlikely, had the virus exploded in northern Europe, for example, that the initial and subsequent approaches and consequences would have been different. With a very long history and an independent cultural ethos, a state like China is sovereign. Its sovereignty comes from its own sense and expression of self. Sovereignty is claimed, never bestowed. It is enacted when a state and the people practice the values and principles of the political myths, usually captured in a loadstar such as the Constitution or in the national plans. In a partially sovereign state where national myths or political mores are not accepted or pursued, governance is equally circumscribed. While novel and epidemiological dimensions to the COVID pandemic did shape its response, the global reach of governance norms that were not emergent from societies that implemented them were apparent. Most states followed a similar pathway. One which was not intrinsic to its national mores. COVID governance illuminated the sovereign tension in South Africa. The government deployed the accompanying rule-by-law fiat afforded to it by the Disaster Management Act. The abnormal response to the abnormal situation saw to it that the South African government used a combat narrative and war-like response. It imposed curfews and limitations of movement. It deployed the South African Defence Force. Security measures were not taken against the virus but to protect the state from people not following the laws. Public and even private life was controlled and disciplined. Though government implemented norms from abroad, it did so by giving expression to the current reality and through the mechanisms that were provided for it in the Constitution. The end of the disaster-induced exception opened a new chapter to South African governance. While the experience of implementing the exception may not directly serve its counterpart, it is conceptually illustrative. As the regulations were created to respond to the situation at hand. As government pursued and prosecuted the regulations after providing the citizens with categories and the realms of possibility. And, as the citizens observed the regulations, becoming good followers of leadership. So too governance measures should be conceptualised and internalised. Responding to the everyday conditions threatening the nation. Re-imagining governance in South Africa To conclude this paper, it will focus on several approaches where governance can give greater expression to the Constitution. The Preamble of the Constitution ‘walks before’ the subsequent text. It guides the signification of the Constitution and how it should be read. The first thing the Preamble does is to nullify the previous order of differentiation. The first words state: “We, the people of South Africa”. Instead of simply being a cursory phrase, this is a powerful expression of being. It unites all in South Africa. Not only as equals under law, but in the responsibility of purpose. The second directive is the building of a transformative society. One where the past is recognised (“Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country”) and a just and equal society is collectively built (“Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights”) (The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996). The transformative nature of the Constitution is such that progress is built over time and through the relationship between citizens. One of the goals set in the Preamble is the improvement in the quality of life of citizens. The current administration has admitted that the state has failed in this regard. It has (rhetorically) committed to become effective, so as to improve the lives of citizens. “To achieve any progress”, said President Ramaphosa in his 2023 State of the Nation address, “we need a capable and effective State. Our greatest weaknesses are in state-owned enterprises and local government” (Ramaphosa, 2023). Mathebula (2023) points to state capability being both human and institutional. According to him, “the Constitution settles the duality of where state capability is located by providing that an organ of the state is any state department, administration, institution, or any other functionary in all spheres of government which exercises power or performs a public function in terms of the Constitution or legislation. In terms of this provision, all public servants are as much an organ of the state as the institutions…This means the most significant focus of any capacity-building interventions should be targeted at the bottom of the pyramid of state personnel” (Mathebula, 2023). Mathebula’s interpretation of the state official as the direct representation of government offers an interesting take on subsidiarity. Usually, subsidiarity, the principle that government should be active where it has maximum effect, is interpreted as the citizen’s engagement with local or municipal government. In South Africa subsidiarity is interpreted from Section 156(4) of the Constitution, that the national and provincial government must assign to the municipality the administration of any matter “that would most effectively be administered locally” (The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996).  According to De Visser, the “argument is that lower levels of government are closer to the citizen and can therefore make more intelligent decisions on what citizens want” (De Visser, 2010). The governing administration is, therefore, obliged to devolve governance as close as possible to the citizens. Subsidiarity is further “translated into the protection of lower levels of government against undue interference by national government…The argument is that lower levels of government are closer to the citizen and can therefore make more ‘intelligent’ decisions on what the citizens want” (De Visser, 2010). With trust at its core, the principle manifests in the relationship between the citizens and the civil service. If subsidiarity relates to the structure of power relations, servant leadership can be seen as a human and cultural counterpart. Servant leadership refers to a style of leadership (or governance) that builds faith and authority through positive interactions. It lends to a governance approach whereby the official does not only occupy their public office but instead takes responsibility and accountability as they are rooted in a specific community. As a community member, first, the official does not elevate themselves above the community as is often seen, but rather serves as a servant to the people. A return to and re-imagining of Constitutional governance will also allow for a lucid and new interpretation of the batho pele (people first) principles as first proposed in the 1997 White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery. Batho Pele is designed to give expression to the Constitutional ideals. It is described by then President Mandela as “the relentless search for increased efficiency” and the desire to “turn words into action”. It is through turning words into action that perceptions change and the state is experienced as capable. A central problem in governance is the perception of ineptitude, corruption and other ills. Whereas a style of leadership does not directly address faults that require intervention, what it does do is admit where faults are made and seek to return trust and rekindle the relationship between state and citizenry. Servant leadership presents a governance style that contrasts with a self-serving one. By seeking to take responsibility and accountability, the state, through its officials and institutions, addresses the breakdown of trust at its most immediate (and thus persuasive) point, the face-to-face interaction. Servant leadership displays an aspirational style of governance that is found in the desire to recognize and attend to the priorities of others. It is an approach to governance that supports Mathebula’s claim, that the Constitution “should be elevated to be the most crucial document and conceptualization of civic education” (Mathebula, 2023). By returning to the Constitution as the source of guidance, the state and its officials attend to their Constitutional mandate of service delivery. Preferred service delivery, as has previously been mentioned, is not a top-down, but a relational system. Chapter three of the Constitution lays out co-operative governance. Section 41(1) delineates the principles whereby all spheres of government must co-operate with the people. These principles are, therefore, the means and ways whereby government enter into a relationship with the citizenry to transform the society. In such a cooperative democracy, governance takes place by discussion. Deliberation remains a crucial modality of South African democracy. The orations of leaders such as Desmond Tutu played a central role in rejecting the structure of the state under Apartheid and in determining what kind of country South Africa would aspire to become. It was through the extensive inputs from various sectors of society that the Constitutional Assembly process and the final Constitution of 1996 gained legitimacy. To ensure stayed legitimacy, Section 152 requires the participation of citizens and civil society in the governance processes. These should not be mere tick-box exercises but allow for genuine engagement between the government and the people. It is through these exercises that a better understanding develops. So that services are rendered where they are most needed and in an appropriate manner. A cooperative democracy is thus one where the government can work with the people as there is a common understanding and where relations are cultivated through discourse. It is when the communication channels are open, the goals are common and synchronised, and where the state positions itself as an activator or a coordinator. It does so by doing its job. By mobilising society behind its long-term vision through efficient bureaucracy and effective administration. Whereas, the National Development Plan presents a vision, rather than a plan, it does offer a range of approaches towards achieving the Constitutional goals. It encourages South Africans to enact their belonging. To become active stakeholders in the national pursuit. To see their futures linked to the future of the state. To embrace its opportunities and to invest in their different forms of capital; the success of the state is their success. The dividends of such an approach are manifold. Such an entrepreneurial approach would lend to improved governance. The entrepreneurial state is not a foreign concept in South Africa. When South Africa transitioned to democracy in the early 1990s it undertook a largely entrepreneurial approach. Its leaders and citizens cooperatively proposed and then discussed the various means, ways and ends towards democracy. Whereas the novelty of the situation and the variety of actors ensured entrepreneurialism, the same spirit and approach can again be utilized in a goal-oriented pursuit of positive change. As before, dialogue, cooperation and compromise between different sectors of society is imperative. In toto, a new consensus must be brought about through the active engagement of all citizens. The entrepreneurial vision of the early 1990s advanced the Freedom Charter’s call: “the people shall govern”. For governance to be legitimate, the people expressing their will must be central. Through programmes (such as Reconstruction and Development) and visions (such as Batho Pele), the state has taken a people-centred approach. “While noble and just in their orientation, these programmes have centred power inwards into the administration. It has led to delivery dependency” (Kotze, 2022). The phrase, “the people shall govern”, recalls Abraham Lincoln’s famous line that democracy entails “government of the people, for the people, by the people”. The citizens must claim the state as their own. In his piece: “The problem in South Africa is not democracy but a lack of democrats”, Bailie (2022) draws our attention to the need to cultivate strong followership. In the absence of capable and inspirational government, the loadstar to the people, the Constitution must inspire society to be capable. Courageous followership is needed in the form of “the courage to assume responsibility, the courage to serve, the courage to challenge, the courage to participate in transformation and the courage to take moral action” (Bailie, 2022). Each of these dimensions directs citizens to exercise their responsibility as co-creators of a capable state. Through public reasoning, through engaging the public service and through putting the Constitution into action, a new consensus compounds and the nation is built. References Bailie, Craig. 2022. “The problem in South Africa is not democracy but a lack of democrats”. (Online) Available at Mail & Guardian, 25 November. https://mg.co.za/thought-leader/opinion/2022-11-25-the-problem-in-south-africa-is-not-democracy-but-a-lack-of-democrats/ De Visser, Jaap. 2010. “Subsidiarity in the Constitution”. Conference Workshop Cultural Initiative: European Programme for Reconstruction and Development. Foucault, Michel. 1982. “The Subject and Power”. Critical Inquiry 8(4): 777-795. Government Gazette, 2003. Disaster Management Act, Act 57 of 2002, No. 24252, 15 January. Huff, Richard. n.d. “Governmentality”, (Online) Available at Britanica, https://www.britannica.com/topic/governmentality). Kotzé, Klaus. 2020. “Responding to COVID-19: Emergency Laws and the Return to Government in South Africa”. Javnost: The Public. Kotzé, Klaus. 2022. “A people-driven state is required for national renewal”. (Online) Available at Mail & Guardian, 27 October. https://mg.co.za/thought-leader/opinion/2022-10-27-a-people-driven-state-is-required-for-national-renewal/ Mathebula, Lucky. 2023. “(Re)building a capable state is possible. Here’s what it will require”. Sunday Times, 8 October. Ramaphosa, Cyril. 2012. “Conversation on the Constitution”. Nelson Mandela Foundation. Ramaphosa, Cyril. 2023. “President Cyril Ramaphosa: 2023 State of the Nation Address”. (Online) Available at South African Government, 9 February. https://www.gov.za/speeches/president-cyril-ramaphosa-2023-state-nation-address-9-feb-2023-0000 Terreblanche, Sampie. 2018. “The Co-Optation of the African National Congress: South Africa’s Original ‘State Capture’”. (Online) Available at Pambazuka News, 25 January. https://www.pambazuka.org/node/98467 The World Bank. 1994. Governance: The World Bank’s Experience. Washington, DC: The World Bank. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. Van Norman Law. 2017. “Rule of Law vs Rule by Law”. Online at Van Norman Law. https://vannormanlaw.com/rule-law-vs-rule-law/#:~:text=The%20Rule%20of%20Law%20is,equal%20under%20the%20law%20itself - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. Email: info@inclusivesociety.org.za Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589 Web: www.inclusivesociety.org.za

  • Managing Social Cohesion in diverse communities: Can South Africa draw lessons from Singapore

    Occasional Paper 2/2024 This paper is published jointly by the  Inclusive Society Institute and School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University Copyright © 2024 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute and the School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University. D I S C L A I M E R Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or the School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University. APRIL 2024 by Daryl Swanepoel Research Fellow, School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University This is the first in a series of three occasional papers on managing social cohesion in diverse communities. They will explore the mechanisms that Singapore, Finland and the United Arab Emirates have deployed in forging socially cohesive societies within their very different environments. The three papers will ultimately be integrated into a comprehensive synthesised report, with the objective of providing a menu of tools for South African policymakers to contemplate for purposes of strengthening their efforts within the South African context. Singapore Skyline istockphoto.com: Stock photo ID:1165735071 Abstract The Inclusive Society Institute’s GovDem Survey has revealed that social cohesion in South Africa has not made sufficient progress post-Apartheid. In fact, the level of cohesion has declined of late, reversing the early gains made at the onset of the democratic order initiated in 1994. This is worrying given the need for cohesion to underpin peace and security, and economic growth in a country, both of which are at worryingly low levels in South Africa. This occasional paper has as its objective the development of a menu of policy interventions aimed at advancing social cohesion, that the policymakers in South Africa may wish to ponder. The paper forms part of a broader study that explores the practices in other diverse communities, notably Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Finland. This particular paper discusses proposals informed by the Singaporean case study. It discusses the findings thereof, and advances recommendations for South African policymakers to consider. 1.   INTRODUCTION In analysing its extensive 2023 GovDem Survey, the Inclusive Society Institute (ISI), an independent public policy research institute, came to the conclusion that thirty years into the new South African dispensation, social cohesion had not advanced to optimal levels. In fact, trends were worrying. In the poll, less than half (48 percent) of South Africans were of the view that a united nation could be forged out of all the population groups in the country. Thirty-one percent believed it possible. Eighteen percent did not express a view one way or the other. This sentiment held true across all the major race groups in the country. Only 46 percent of whites believed it feasible, 48 percent of blacks believed it so, and for Indians and coloureds it was 44 percent and 50 percent respectively (ISI, 2023). Even more disquieting is the finding that only 39 percent of South Africans were of the opinion that reconciliation in South Africa is moving in the right direction. This held true across all the race groups, where similar trends existed. In its definition of social cohesion, the Inclusive Society Institute includes dimensions wider than just race. It also considers religious tolerance, and attitudes towards immigrants, amongst other criteria, as contributors towards social cohesion. The Institute’s South African Social Cohesion Index (SASCI), currently in its development phase, is built on three pillars: demographic integration, extent of connectivity to the country, and sense of community (ISI, 2022). These pillars respond to the three dimensions of social cohesion as argued by Langer et al. (2017), namely inequality, trust, and identity. Figure 1: Social Cohesion Triangle (Langer et al., 2017) High levels of inequality, Langer et al. argue, threatens social cohesion in society, in that it erodes relationships, which, in turn, could cause conflict. When trust is missing between members of society, the ability for individuals to collaborate in order to build the nation is weakened. And a national identity, in contrast to group or ethnic identity, may cause aggressive behaviour amongst members of society to the detriment of stable co-existence. In South African society, trust amongst the various groups is worryingly low. For example: In the same GovDem Survey, only 40 percent of white South Africans completely or somewhat trusted their black compatriots, and similarly only 41 percent of black South Africans completely or somewhat trusted their white compatriots. Only 48 percent of South Africans completely or somewhat trusted people from a different religion to their own. Only 43 percent of South Africans completely or somewhat trusted people from different nationalities. Similar trends existed across all the major race groups. Of particular concern was the finding that 68 percent of South Africans did not trust immigrants from other African countries. So too, some 66 percent did not trust immigrants from overseas. And likewise, similar trends were registered across all the race groups. (ISI, 2023) These disappointingly low levels of trust suggest that, as a nation, in terms of demographic integration, South Africa has a long way to go in consolidating social cohesion in the country. That said, the ISI survey finds that South Africans are slowly starting to forge a nation. Already, 46 percent of South Africans – with similar trends across all race groups – are in favour of associating with compatriots across racial lines, as opposed to only 31 percent who do not like associating with people from different population groups. And already, 52 percent of South Africans – with similar trend across all race groups – are socialising (entertaining) with compatriots from across racial lines. Likewise, some 49 percent of South Africans – with similar trends form across all race groups – do attend the church/shul/mosque/religious services of their fellow South Africans. And 69 per cent of respondents indicated that they wanted a united South Africa. In considering the second pillar of the ISI’s SASCI, the extent of connectivity to the country, the findings of the survey were equally disappointing. Nine percent of the respondents indicated that they were seriously considering emigrating to another country in the next year or so. Of particular concern was the number of high income earners and those with tertiary education. Eleven percent of the high income earners and those with tertiary qualifications were considering emigration. South Africa is experiencing a critical skills shortage across almost all sectors (Business Tech, 2023). For the country to lose more skills and taxpayers would be quite tragic for the country. The minority communities are the most vulnerable. Fifteen percent and 14 percent of whites and Indians respectively were considering emigration, as opposed to 8 percent of black South Africans. There were two main reasons driving the sentiment: A lack of confidence in the ability of the economy to deliver jobs for themselves and their family. Twenty-five percent of respondents cited work opportunities as the reason for them contemplating emigration, and only 23 percent were confident that their children will be able to become part of the South African labour market and that they will find a good job. A sense that South Africa was failing. Twenty-one percent of respondents were of the view that the country was failing. Once again, with the exception of the coloured community, it was the minority communities – particularly the Indian community – that were most vulnerable. Twenty-three percent of whites and 41 percent of Indians cited South Africa’s failure as a state as the reason for them considering emigration. In considering the third pillar of the ISI’s SASCI, namely a sense of community, a far healthier picture emerged. Seventy-five percent of South Africans agreed or strongly agreed that it was important to get involved in the community in which they lived, 47 percent agreed or strongly agreed that it was important to actively work for the welfare of their community, and 58 percent said that they actively looked for ways in which they could support people that were less fortunate than themselves. Similar trends were registered across all the race groups. The survey was however silent as to the extent to which the individual race groups’ involvement extended across demographic lines. About the survey The aforementioned data is drawn from the Inclusive Society Institute’s GovDem Survey, which forms part of the Ipsos Khayabus Survey, the methodology of which is illustrated in the diagrammes contained in Figure 2 below. Figure 2: The Ipsos Khayabus (ISI, 2023) Against this backdrop one has to ask: Is enough being done to promote, nurture and ensure social cohesion in South African society? The country’s National Development Plan (NDP) after all recognises that the strategy set out therein needs to be underpinned by social cohesion (NPC, N.d.). The NDP argues that “leaders throughout society have to balance the power they hold with responsibility, including … promoting social cohesion”, and that it is necessary to broaden social cohesion and unity while redressing the inequities of the past. “South Africa’s own history and the experiences of other countries”, it says, “show that unity and social cohesion are necessary to meet social and economic objectives”. It also argues that social cohesion in society is necessary to narrow the inequality divide (NPC, N.d.). The NDP is correct, because in socially cohesive societies, where there is a general absence of underlying social conflict, people work together as one towards the well-being of all in society. It works against exclusion and marginalisation, creates a sense of belonging, promotes trust, and offers its people the opportunity of upward mobility (SFRI, N.d.). It enables people to be engaged in “a common enterprise”, wherein they are able to face shared challenges as members of the same community (Maxwell, in SFRI, N.d.). It allows society as a whole to share equitably in its prosperity, because cohesive societies are politically stable, thereby allowing them to focus on economic growth (Bris, 2014). It is therefore encouraging that the National Planning Commission recently proposed the establishment of a Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Council, with the objective of “developing and monitoring strategies for the promotion of tolerance and the embracing of  diversity … for the emergence of a shared South African identity and pride” (NPC, 2023). Some progress has been made in setting up the structures and mechanisms to advance the goal of social cohesion in South Africa. The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) has been established in terms of Chapter 9 of the South African Constitution. The primary objectives of the CRL Commission is “(a) to promote respect for the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities; (b) to promote and develop peace, friendship, humanity, tolerance and national unity among cultural, religious and linguistic communities, on the basis of equality, non-discrimination and free association; and (c) to recommend the establishment or recognition, in accordance with national legislation, of a cultural or other council or councils for a community or communities in South Africa” (RSA, 1996). Since its establishment the CRL Commission has tackled a number of topics that impede social cohesion. The full list of reports contained on the CRL Commission’s official website include: The commercialisation of religion and the abuse of people’s belief systems; Challenges that lead to deaths and injuries at initiation schools in South Africa; The reuse  of graves by local governments: Seeking a solution to the violation of cultural and religious rights of communities through the reuse of graves by local governments; Ukuthwala (the abduction that involves kidnapping a girl or a young woman by a man and his friends or peers in order to compel the girl or young woman's family to endorse marriage negotiations); The use of official languages by organs of state; Violations of religious rights by members/congregants of church missions; and Civil unrest in Phoenix that allegedly resulted in racially motivated deaths. (CRL Commission, N.d.) Scrutinisation of the annual and other reports will suggest that the bulk of the Commission’s work has been limited and reactive in nature. No wonder given that the Commission’s annual budget in the 2021/22 financial year amounted to a mere R46,4 million rand (CRL Commission, N.d.). Given the extent of the work needed to tackle the social cohesion deficit, it is clear that the Commission has not been adequately resourced to properly carry out their work. So too, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC), is mandated to lead nation-building and social cohesion through social transformation, but the unit tasked to carry out this mandate is inadequately resourced. The DSAC social cohesion programme includes activities such as the celebration of national days, advocacy platforms on social cohesion, and community conversations (DSAC, N.d.). The unit tasked with carrying out the social cohesion mandate comprises four members of staff (Anon., 2023) and the annual budget for 2024/25 amounts to a mere R59,8 million (Treasury, 2024). On paper it suggests that government is committed to securing social cohesion in South Africa. It forms an integral part of the NDP, a constitutionally committed commission has been established to promote and protect the rights of the country’s diverse communities, and DSAC has established programmes aimed at promoting social cohesion in South Africa. The lived reality tells a different story: activities are few and limited in nature, the programmes are wholly under-resourced and as evidenced in the ISI’s GovDem Survey, the level of social cohesion is disappointingly low. What to do? There are many other countries around the world that have/are faced/facing social cohesion challenges. Three come to mind, each with different mechanisms to nurture and promote social cohesion within their societies. These are Finland, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore, which is the focus of this particular paper. The Singaporean experience may hold lessons for South Africa, the exploration of which is the object of this dissertation. Research question and methodology The departure point of this study, based on the empirical evidence contained in the Inclusive Society Institute’s GovDem Survey, as highlighted in the introductory chapter, is that: Social cohesion, of which, in the South African context, nation-building and reconciliation are crucial elements, is not at an acceptable level. South Africans desire a united nation in which the different communities that compose the nation can work together to build a common future. The South African Constitution places a high premium on a non-discriminatory environment underpinned by social cohesion. All three spheres of government – that is, the executive, legislative and judicial spheres – at its heart, recognise and promote the ideals of the Constitution, which is a united and reconciled South Africa culminating in a socially cohesive society. The current structures, programmes and resources allocated by the authorities have not yet – thirty years since the transition from Apartheid – delivered the desired level of social cohesion in South Africa. It recognises the importance of social cohesion in any society that wishes for harmony, stability, and prosperity. Thus, more needs to be done to promote such. What that is, is an open question. This paper examines the Singaporean model for managing diversity and social cohesion. It aims to provide new options for South Africa’s policymakers to contemplate, by identifying a set of practices that do not currently form part of the South African toolset. 2.   THE SINGAPOREAN CASE STUDY Singapore is a city-state of about 718 square kilometres on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, in Southeast Asia. It gained independence on 9 August 1965, and has adopted a parliamentary democracy system (MOFA, N.d.). It is a “hyper diverse” state, with a racial composite that has remained stable over the last fifty years, notwithstanding significant inter-racial and transnational marriages. A large proportion of the population is comprised of transient labour (RSiS, 2024). According to the latest census (2020) the Chinese comprised 74,3 percent of the population, the Malays 13,5 percent, Indians, 9 percent, with the rest from a range of other ethnic groups. The relative stability of the ethnic breakdown of Singapore’s population can be seen in Table 1 below. Table 1: Ethnic composition of Singapore’s population: Source: RSiS, 2024 The historical context The British established trading posts in Penang (1786) and Singapore (1819), and captured Malacca from the Dutch (1795). In late 1818 they established a trading station at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula on the island of Singapore through a formal treaty concluded with Sultan Hussein of Johor and the Temenggong, the de jure and de facto rulers of Singapore. A second treaty was entered into in 1824 where outright ownership of the island was ceded to the British. And in 1867 Singapore became a Crown Colony of the Colonial Office in London (Singapore-Expats, N.d.). Singapore became a significant port of call for ships sailing between Europe and East Asia. And after the 1870’s following the development of rubber planting industry, it also became the main sorting and export centre for the global rubber trade. This led to unprecedented prosperity, which led to Chinese, Malay and Indian immigrants flocking to Singapore. The peace and prosperity ended when the Japanese conquered it during the Second World War (Singapore-Expats, N.d.). The British returned in 1945 and Singapore came under British Military Administration, and in 1946 the Straits Settlements was dissolved, which saw Singapore become a Crown Colony, whereas as Penang and Malacca became part of the Malayan Union, later the Federation of Malaya (Singapore-Expats, N.d.). Postwar Singapore no longer comprised transient immigrants and the people demanded a say in the government. Whilst constitutional powers vested in the Governor, who had an advisory council of officials and nominated non-officials, it evolved into the separate Executive and Legislative arrangements in 1948 with provision for six members to be elected by popular vote to the legislature (Singapore-Expats, N.d.). Self-government was attained in 1959. But it ushered in an uneasy period. The People’s Action Party (PAP) had come into power with the support of the communists, who controlled many mass organisations, especially the workers and students, with the shared objective of fighting British colonialism. The moderates pushed for full independence for Singapore as part of a non-communist Malaya, whereas the communists wanted a communist take-over. The two factions split in 1961, with the Malayans agreeing to Singapore's merger with them as part of a larger federation. This was, however, short-lived as Singapore separated from the rest of Malaysia in 1965 to become a sovereign, democratic and independent nation (Singapore-Expats, N.d.). Means taken to promote social cohesion Given the ethnic diversity, Singapore has taken a number of measures to ensure the meaningful political representation of the various groups, and they have instituted a number of constitutional safeguards to ensure social inclusion. These measures include: The Presidential Council on Minority Rights (PCMR), which advises on any Bill or subsidiary legislation that contains differentiating measures. And it also reports on matters that affect any racial or religious community that are referred to it by Parliament or the Government. The Presidential Council on Religious Harmony (PCRH), which advises on matters affecting religious harmony. Reserved presidential election to ensure multi-racial representation. Under this measure the election to the office of the president is reserved for a certain community, that is Chinese, Malay or Indian, if no person belonging to that community has held the office of the President for any of the last five terms of office. Group Representative Constituency, which ensures minority representation in parliament. Under this measure the electorate will, in their particular constituency, elect a group of individuals to be their member of parliament, of which at least one of the candidates must be from an ethnic minority (RSiS, 2024). Furthermore, there is a deep sense of heritage preservation, which emphasises and supports cultural and faith continuity. The Singaporean system accepts that the state and tribal identities are not mutually exclusive, but complementary. The CMIO (Chinese, Malay, Indian, Others) typology is a deeply entrenched frame of reference in policymaking (RSiS, 2024). Singapore also adheres to bilingual policy. All Singaporeans learn English as their main language, and a mother tongue according to their racial identity, that is Mandarin for Chinese, Bahasa Malay for Malays. And Tamil for Indians (RSiS, 2024). The state also supports Community Self-Help organisations. It recognises that social safety support along community lines can better address ethnic specific challenges. A number of such community schemes, for example the Chinese Development Assistance Council, the Council for the Development of the Singaporean Malay/Muslim Community – Malay-Mendaki – and the Eurasian Association,  are officially recognised and supported (RSiS, 2024). It is also recognised that there is an overlap between racial and religious identity. Accordingly, the major faith groups in Singapore take guidance from their respective domestic religious authorities, who interpret religious teachings through a Singapore-centric and progressive lens (RSiS, 2024). To this end, the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO), which is comprised of the ten main religious groups, including, amongst others, Islam, Catholicism, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism, was established in 1948 (RSiS, 2024). Coding integration into law The Singaporean authorities are strong proponents of social integration. This they believe is essential in order to maximise a shared experience and to forge a distinct Singaporean identity. It is, they believe, through social integration that a sense of belonging, pride and patriotism is engendered. To this end, a number of social policies have been coded into law. With regard to education policy, all Singaporean children are compelled to attend at least ten years of schooling, in which a standardised national curriculum is taught. Schooling is taught in English, but the curriculum includes a mother tongue as a second language. All scholars are taught to embrace national symbols such as the anthem and national pledge, which is recited at the onset of every school day. National service is also compulsory for all Singapore citizens and second generation permanent residents. They are obliged to serve two years conscription in the defence force. The rationale behind the enlistment is grounded on three principles: Firstly, the defence imperative is to fulfil a national need, not an ideology. Secondly, it is universally applied, with little or no exception. And thirdly, it is done in an equitable manner, in which servicemen/women are deployed according to operational needs and competency. Communal ties and cohesion are fostered through the Ethic Integration Policy. Under this policy, shared spaces and interaction across communities is promoted in order to avoid the formation of racial enclaves. A prime example of such a policy is the Singaporean public housing scheme (HDB flats), which is done against the backdrop of 80 percent of Singaporeans living in public housing. The workings of the scheme is explained hereunder: Every block of flats is allocated a racial quota according to the latest census on the racial identities of households in Singapore. This ensures that there is a racial mix in every block of flats and that the occupancy of the block reflects the national demography of the country. Home sellers are restricted from selling their apartment to buyers from another race in instances where the blocks have reached the maximum quota. For example, a Malay household is not allowed to sell the unit to a Chinese buyer in instances where the block has too many Chinese households, since the sale would further dilute the proportion of Malay residents. Similar quotas are imposed on permanent resident households in order to prevent immigrant enclaves. (RSiS, 2024) In short, there is a social compact between the individual and the state in Singapore. A balance is struck between heritage, agency, and continuity on the one hand, and a national super-ordinate identity on the other. There is a trade-off between individual autonomy and the national collective interest. And the small nuclear family, economic competition, individual-centric pursuits, and the retreat to communal psychological safety are overtly recognised as some of the key challenges to fostering cohesion. Figure 3: Singapore’s social compact (RSiS, 2024) Presidential Council for Minority Rights The Presidential Council for Minority Rights (PCMR) was established in 1970 but took its current name in 1973. It was established under Part 7 of the Singapore Constitution. It has as its purpose the safeguarding of minority rights and advising the Government and Parliament on these issues (Desker, 2024). It forms part of a structure in the President’s office comprising the Council of Presidential Advisors, the PCMR, and the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony (PCRH) (Desker, 2024). The objectives of the PCMR are to ensure: That legislation takes into account the diverse interests of Singaporean society from the perspective of ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity That the legislative process has considered the diverse elements in Singapore society so that minority groups do not feel that they are oppressed or excluded. (Desker, 2024) The role of the PCMR: The primary function is to scrutinise Bills that are before Parliament after the second reading in Parliament and after the first debate on the Bill. That is, before the third reading of the Bill, when it is adopted into law, if it is passed. The intention is that all Bills will be reviewed by the council to ensure that it does not discriminate against any ethnic or religious community. If there are differentiating measures, then the council will report its findings to Parliament and refer the Bill to it for reconsideration or revision. It also examines all subsidiary legislation and statutes. A secondary function is to take up other issues affecting social cohesion that are deemed necessary. The President also has the executive power to appoint the Chairperson of the PCRH. This body was established by the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act of 2001. This is done on the advice of the PCMR. (Desker, 2024) The composition of the PCMR: Up to twenty members can be appointed to the PCMR (Republic of Singapore, 2020). It may be comprised of up to ten permanent members (who may be appointed for life (Republic of Singapore, 2020), who could include the Prime Minister, as well as any previous Prime Ministers. The current council has six permanent members. It includes the current Prime Minister, the Minister for Law, three retired ministers – one of which is ethnic Indian and two that are ethnic Malay. It is currently chaired by the Chief Justice (Desker, 2024). The Chairperson is appointed for a three-year period, but is eligible for re-appointment (Republic of Singapore, 2020). There are also up to ten additional members that are appointed for three-year terms, which terms could be renewed. These ten members come from ethnic minorities, religious groupings, for example, the Muslim Mufti, the Catholic Cardinal, the head of the Buddhist community of Singapore are members of the council. Then there are representatives from the minority communities, for example, the Sikh community, the Eurasian ethnic minority, and the Malay communtiy and an Indian Supreme Court Justice – whose father happened to be a former leader of the opposition (Desker, 2024). The President of Singapore has the executive power to appoint the members of the Council, on the advice of the Prime Minister (Desker, 2024). Eligibility for appointment to the PCMR: Members must be Singapore citizens residing in Singapore. They must be at least 35 years of age. There are no restrictions on the appointment of cabinet ministers or political office-bearers or members. (Desker, 2024) Meetings of the PCMR: The PCMR generally meets once a month. It could schedule additional meetings if there is a specific reason therefore, for example, as happened after a race riot in Little India. In that instance the PCMR reviewed actions taken by the government. The Prime Minister may authorise ministers and parliamentary secretaries to attend meetings, but that is not generally the case unless it is felt that there is a need to advise the Council. All meetings are held in private. The conclusions are recorded and conveyed to Parliament, but the discussions are not. This is to allow for the exchange of views that can sometimes be of a very sensitive nature in a society that has had race, linguistic and religious riots in the past. (Desker, 2024) Matters excluded from consideration by the PCMR: Money Bills Bills on defence and security Bills classified by the President as urgent. In such instances, if the Bill were to be passed into law and the PCMR subsequently discovers some or other differentiating measure, it may discuss the matter and make recommendations as how to remedy the Act. (Desker, 2024) Resources deployed to support the work of the PCMR: The budget is limited since it uses the facilities and staff of Parliament. The Clerk of Parliament acts as the Secretary to the Council. Unlike members of Parliament, there is no funding provision for the members of the Council to commission outside expertise to assist with their work, but there are no barriers or prohibitions excluding members from getting voluntary or externally funded support by expert individuals to assist them in their work. Members of the PCMR receive an honorarium, which is limited in nature. On its own it is not sufficient and requires the member to have external employment and/or resources. It is considered a contribution to society. (Desker, 2024) Working methodology: More often than not, the findings of the PCMR are in the form of a comment on what issues need to be considered or gaps in the legislation that need to be addressed. The findings could also take the form of drafting actual amendments to the legislation for Parliament to consider. (Desker, 2024) Example of a finding: There was a piece of legislation which restricted Indian workers coming into the city centre on their days off – at the weekends. This applied mainly to people from the South Asian sub-continent who came to work on one- or two-year contracts. They were housed outside the city, but tended to concentrate in Little India on the Sunday when they were off (Desker, 2024). Legislation was introduced after a major riot took place. The council played the role of attempting to ameliorate the impact of the legislation so that it did not completely prohibit the entry of people who came from these communities into Little India, but to rather ensure that it wasn’t done in a manner which would overwhelm Little India. It ensured that some other crowd control means were put in place and that, for example, bars could only sell alcohol after six in the evening. Before that, bars were open during the day and the workers would get inebriated, with consequential unruly behaviour (Desker, 2024). Presidential Council for Religious Harmony As already mentioned, the President also has the executive power to appoint the Chairperson of the PCRH. This body was established by the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act of 2001. The President makes the appointments on the advice of the PCMR. Some would argue that the PCRH is subsidiary to the PCMR, others argue that it functions in parallel to the PCMR (Desker, 2024). The objectives and role of the PCRH: The PCRH considers and reports to the Minister on matters that affect the maintenance of religious harmony. They also consider and make recommendations to the President on restraining orders against religious leaders or groups that cause “feelings of enmity, hatred, ill will or hostility between different religious groups”, or that carry out activities to promote a political cause or political party, or encourage disaffection against the President or the Government, under the guise of promoting or practicing any religious belief. (Republic of Singapore, 1990) Composition of the PCRH: The PCRH is comprised of a chairperson and at least 6 and not more than 15 other members. At least two-thirds of the PCRH members must be drawn from amongst the representatives of the major religions in Singapore. The others must be individuals that “have distinguished themselves in public service or community relations in Singapore”. As already pointed out, the members of the PCRH, including the Chairperson, are appointed by the President on the advice of the PCMR. They are appointed for a period of three years. (Republic of Singapore, 1990) Eligibility for appointment to the PCRH: To qualify for appointment, the individual must be a Singaporean citizen. He/she must be at least 35 years of age. He/she must be a resident of Singapore. Meetings of the PCRH and working methodology: The PCRH has the power to appoint a Secretary and any other officers it deems necessary to carry out its work in order to meet its objectives. It regulates its own procedures, provided that a quorum of at least half of its members need to be present at a meeting; and that the Chairperson (or if he is not available another member elected to chair the specific meeting) chairs the meeting. Its discussions are held in secret, with only its findings and recommendations reduced to writing. (Republic of Singapore, 1990) Impact and need for the measures on social cohesion In considering whether the measures taken to ensure social cohesion in Singapore are bearing fruit, this report defers to the 2022 report by Mathews, Key and Nah, titled Attitudes, actions, and aspirations: Key findings from the CAN-IPS survey on race relations, 2021. In this dissertation, only a snapshot of the survey’s findings is given, so as to provide a sense of the progress made in Singapore in promoting social cohesion. The full report on the survey can be accessed via the link below. Most respondents believe that meritocracy in Singapore is not contingent on race, with more than 80 percent believing that everyone can be successful, regardless of race. This is evidenced by the respondents’ beliefs about success and race as set out in Table 2 below. Ninety-seven percent are of the view that this will remain true and improve in the future. However, racial minorities and younger respondents are more likely to believe that majority privilege exists, and they are split on whether racism remains an important problem today – about 56,2 percent (up from 46,3 percent in 2016) feel that discrimination based on race will worsen. Table 2: Respondents’ beliefs about success and race (figures in brackets are from 2016 wave, where available) Source: Mathews, Key & Nah, 2022 Although a significant number of respondents (58,6 percent) disagreed with the notion of political leaders speaking openly about race in that it may cause unnecessary tension, most (88,8 percent) felt it important for them to do so. Most (70,2 per cent) do not believe that the majority race’s culture is privileged, but racial minorities are more likely to feel the converse is true. As for the next five years, most respondents of all races expect intercultural knowledge and willingness to accommodate differences to stay the same or even improve. In terms of the attitudes with regard to national unity, as can be gleaned from the responses in Table 3 below, only a small minority were of the view that the level of national unity would worsen. Table 3: Attitudes with regard to the level of national unity Source: Mathews, Key & Nah, 2022 With regard to racial prejudices and biases, respondents have become more likely to see themselves, their family, and their close friends as hardly or not at all racist. At 83,6 percent this is up from 73,6 per cent in 2016. But members of the majority race tend to perceive their own race as less racist than how racial minorities view them, whilst the same trend is not observed for Malay’s and Indian’s perceptions of people of their own racial groups. This is illustrated in Table 4 below. Table 4: Perceived racism of self, by respondents’ race (figures in brackets are from 2016) Source: Mathews, Key & Nah, 2022 Whilst some policies, such as Racial Harmony Day (8 out of 10 respondents) are well-received, others, such as the Special Assistance Schools (4 out of 10 respondents), are not. Most respondents (63 per cent) feel that the CMIO system (Chinese/Indian/Malay/Others) is effective in preserving racial harmony, whereas a lower proportion (38,6 per cent) feel that it is safeguarding minority rights. The other overarching race classification policy is also broadly viewed positively. Over three-quarters of respondents are of the view that legislation on race is able to preserve racial harmony. More than 7 in 10 respondents are of the view that the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and ethnic self-help groups help to preserve racial harmony. Six in 10 want to retain these policies as they are. Chinese respondents (81,3 percent) are, however, more likely than minorities (two-thirds) to believe the EIP preserves racial harmony. Nevertheless, an overwhelming majority, whether from the majority Chinese or minorities’ point of view, want the EIP to continue. The sentiments towards the various ethnic-based policies are set out in Table 5 below. Table 5: Sentiments towards ethnic-based policies Source: Mathews, Key & Nah, 2022 In terms of their lived experiences, only a small proportion of respondents experienced racial discrimination at work (less than 9 percent) and in the housing market (less than 3 percent). That said, minorities are more affected by such discrimination than Chinese. See Table 6 hereunder. Table 6: Experiences of discrimination and unfair treatment Source: Mathews, Key & Nah, 2022 And much of the population (41 per cent) say they have not been affected by race-related incidents highlighted in the news. A slight majority of respondents are tired of talking about issues of race and racism, whereas the rest are of the view that more public dialogue on these issues will be helpful. Regarding aspirations for the future, whilst many respondents indicated an indifference as to future developments to do with race, a highly welcomed development is greater intercultural understanding. As can be seen in Table 7 below, about 62,9 per cent were of the view that this greater understanding will be good for Singaporean society. With regard to discussions concerning racial issues, mixed sentiments were expressed. About half thought that by speaking up freely about their ethnic identity not being properly respected or about problems with different ethnic cultures, would be good; most of the rest felt it would make no difference. Table 7: Views on deeper intercultural understanding, by respondents’ race Source: Mathews, Key & Nah, 2022 Although more than half of all respondents think it would be beneficial for people to identify as Singaporeans as opposed to Singaporean-Chinese, Singaporean-Malay, Singaporean-Indian and so on, they are less supportive of policies that would move in a race-blind direction. This is illustrated in Table 8 below. Little India, Singapore istockphoto.com: Stock photo ID:1278570046 Table 8: Attitudes to future developments towards a race-blind society Source: Mathews, Key & Nah, 2022 China Town, Singapore istockphoto.com: Stock photo ID:614980556 3.  DISCUSSION Both Singapore and South Africa emerged from a colonial past. Singapore from British rule, and South Africa from a white minority oppressive Apartheid regime, which was also preceded by British colonial rule. So too, both jurisdictions have a multiracial demography, with a majority and a number of minority communities. In Singapore the Chinese community comprises around 74,3 percent of the population, the Malay 13,5 percent, the Indian 9 percent, and others around 3,2 percent (RSiS, 2024). In South Africa, according to the latest census (2022), similar trends emerge, albeit from different ethnic communities. Here, the black population form the majority with around 81,4 percent, followed by the coloured community at 8,2 percent, the white community at 7,3 percent, and the Indian/Asian community at around 2,7 percent (RSA, N.d.). The difference between the two countries is that the Chinese majority did not have to contend with the Apartheid laws and were therefore not favoured and excluded from the economy to the same extent as blacks were in South Africa. The result is that at independence, in Singapore there was greater equality between the races than was the case in South Africa. There is also a different philosophy as to the defining of the individual’s identity. In Singapore, group identity (ethnicity) is accepted and coded into law. That is, individuals identify as Singaporean-Chinese, Singaporean-Malay, etcetera. In the ‘new’ South Africa the “question constantly arises about what it means to be a South African … and whether you’re a South African first and then ‘black/white/coloured/Indian’ or vice versa” (Diergaardt, 2018). Until this question is settled in South Africa, there will be a constant debate as to whether the legislative and social construct should embody and reference race as a composite component of public policy. A national dialogue on what constitutes the South African identity seems overdue in light of the ISI’s GovDem Survey findings. The trust deficit between races, religious groups, indeed across all facets of South African society, evidenced in the GovDem Survey, would suggest that pro-active mechanisms need to be put in place to improve the levels of trust in the country. Some would argue that it should start in the political sphere, where minority communities often (rightly or wrongly) feel that their interests are being marginalised by the majority. One example is that although “Afrikaans is still maintaining its status of an official language, its speakers feel that it is being marginalised by the government. One of the reasons given is the enforcement of English in former Afrikaans institutions” (Snail, 2011). The architects of the new South Africa “chose a functionally single-district proportional representation electoral system and a federal executive structure to distribute power both racially and regionally” in order to maximise inclusiveness at the national and provincial levels of government. The main parties are broadly multiracial, but as elections have progressed, there has been a gradual emergence of racial politics. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has, for example, escalated its racial appeals in its election rhetoric, and it has to a much larger degree filled its party lists with more black candidates. And it has of late disproportionately targeted the black voters in its campaigns (Macdonald, 2012), leaving many from the minority communities perceiving themselves to be largely excluded from mainstream political decision-making. Now the electoral system is under review, with an Electoral Review Panel set to be announced in the foreseeable future as provided for in the Electoral Amendment Act 1 of 2023. This panel will be tasked with designing a new electoral model for South Africa (RSA, 2023). It may be wise for the panel to consider some elements of Singapore’s Group Representative constituency system, which guarantees minority representation at the constituency level, with a view to ensuring multiracial representation at the constituency level, as opposed to a single-seat constituency system, which could marginalise opposition parties and those from the minority communities from constituency representation at the expense of social integration and cohesiveness. The perception of exclusion is being exacerbated through the inclusion of racial coding into South African law. A number of laws and policies have been introduced that have as their objective the remedying of historical injustices. These include, for example, the Employment Equity Act of 1998, the Black Economic Empowerment Act of 2003, and the Black Industrialist programme of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, amongst others. The noble and constitutional intentions of these laws are often overlooked when wrongly interpreted and implemented, which in turn builds distrust amongst some from the minority communities, and feeds their perception, rightly or wrongly, of alienation. Hence the high level of intent shown in the GovDem Survey by those from the minority communities to emigrate. Coding into law of racial quotas, per se, does not constitute an infringement of minority rights. It is often, as in the South African case, a necessary tool to remedy past injustices. It is when this legislation is introduced within an environment of low trust that perceptions of exclusion take root. The Singaporean case, where racial quotas are a feature of legislation and policy, proves the point. Singaporeans have embraced the notion to the extent that in the 2022 survey, covered herein, a majority of respondents indicated that they were not supportive of racially-blind policies, nor did they experience the quota system as threatening of their rights. The introduction of mechanisms in South Africa such as those embodied in the work of Singapore’s PCMR and PCRH may prove a differentiating feature capable of building trust. If a credible body with sufficient powers and regard were to ameliorate legislation that would differentiate on racial and/or religious grounds, it would serve, as the Singaporean case would suggest, to instil faith and build trust amongst minority and religious communities. However, a cautionary note. Singapore’s PCMR and PCRH are adequately resourced and are composed of individuals with gravitas and who command great respect. Should this route be charted in South Africa, great care will have to be taken in selecting the right calibre of individuals to be appointed to oversee the work, lest trust be further imploded. The choice must be such that it creates trust in society that their recommendations will be taken seriously by the lawmakers and not just fobbed off. As pointed out by Dr Mathew Mathews (2024) from the Institute of Policy Studies in Singapore in the course of an interview with him, in Singapore, as it relates to the PCMR, “it’s too high a council for anyone to ignore”. In this regard Singapore’s PCMR and PCRH cannot simply be cloned. South Africa will have to make its own adaptions in two main respects: Firstly, as it relates to the separation of powers. In Singapore the PCMR is comprised of, amongst others, members of the Executive such as the President, Prime Minister and ministers, and members from the judiciary, such as the Chief Justice. Furthermore, it is housed in the Parliament and makes use of its facilities. The Clerk of Parliament acts as its Secretary. Within the PCMR, these different arms of government work in partnership. The purists would argue that such machination would go against the separation of powers principle that is prescribed in the South African Constitution (RSA, 1996). So, in this regard one may have to consider re-mandating one of the Constitution’s Chapter 9 Institutions, the Commission for the Promotion of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Commission) possibly being the choice. This being the case, the eligibility for being appointed as a Commissioner, to provide for the necessary gravitas, respect and skills, and the mandate, to provide for the reviewing of legislation for recommendation to Parliament, will have to be revisited. And the fiscus will have to provide sufficient resources for the Commission to do its work effectively and independently – the current budgetary allocation to the CRL Commission is, when considering the importance of social cohesion for peace and stability and economic growth, quite frankly, a farce. Secondly, it is doubted that unfettered appointment powers by the President will, within the South African environment, pass constitutional muster. An open and transparent public participation and parliamentary process will have to be followed. More so, against the backdrop of cadre deployment across all spheres of the state, which the State Capture Commission has declared illegal and unconstitutional (Haffejee, 2022), public trust will be undermined should the process not be considered and embraced by the broader society as being credible. Masjid Sultan Mosque, Kampong Glam district, Singapore istockphoto.com: Stock photo ID:1445118179 4.  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Social cohesion in a country is by no means a nice-to-have. It is an economic imperative, and a crucial requirement for peace and security. Otherwise stated, a lack of social cohesion will not garner the level of societal and investor trust needed for a growing economy, and it inevitably leads to social insecurity and instability. Evidence suggests that social cohesion in South Africa is backsliding, with disturbing trends developing. Whilst on paper structures and mechanisms exist to promote social cohesion, the lived reality tells a different story. South Africans are not confident in the country’s ability to come together as a united nation. And trust levels amongst the various race, religious, linguistic, nationalities, are worryingly low. Public policymakers can no longer sit by idly and allow social cohesion to slip any further. The stakes for the nation are simply too high. To this end the Inclusive Society Institute has commissioned a study on Managing Social Cohesion in Diverse Communities. The study explores how other nations with diverse populations are dealing with and building social cohesion. It has identified Finland, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore as countries from which South Africa could possibly learn. It provides a menu of options for policymakers to consider. This paper considers the Singaporean practices and tools deployed in this regard. Scoping of the Singaporean approach, the research suggest, has identified at least five areas from which South Africa can draw lessons, and accordingly, makes the following recommendations: That the custodianship of South Africa’s social cohesion programme be reallocated from the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture to the Presidency. And that the importance of social cohesion for the nation’s wellbeing be recognised by properly and sufficiently resourcing the programme. Social cohesion is far more than a cultural imperative. It affects all aspects of societal life. It is necessary for creating business and investment confidence, the prerequisite for economic growth and job creation; and it is necessary to ensure a peaceful and stable environment. It nurtures a sense of belonging, and creates hope for the future for all citizens, who then see a place for themselves in the country. This builds trust and patriotism amongst the various communities of the country, who then work together to build prosperity and a shared future. In the first instance, it requires a multidisciplinary, inter-departmental approach, best coordinated in the centrality of the Presidency. And by locating it in the Presidency it signals the importance and priority that government attaches to ensuring a socially cohesive South Africa. Re-evaluate and expand the mandate of the Commission for the Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities to include the scrutinisation of Bills before Parliament and other secondary legislation for purposes of ensuring that it does not discriminate against any minority or religious community. And that should differentiation measures be necessary, for example, to ensure redress from past discrimination, that it is ameliorated in a manner that does not create social dissonance. To this end the CRL Commission’s budget will have to be materially overhauled, given that the current paltry budget is wholly inadequate to give credence to the Commission’s stated objectives. And the process of appointing commissioners will also need to be revisited. Currently, commissioners are selected by a panel appointed by the Minister (RSA, 2002). To ensure greater public faith and support in the work of the Commission, a more open and transparent parliamentary process – with meaningful public participation – ought to be followed. It is further recommended that the Commission, or at least the legislative review functions of the Commission, be chaired by a retired High or Supreme Court of Appeal judge. In that electoral reform is currently underway, it is recommended that an electoral system be designed that will adequately accommodate multiparty support at a constituency level. One such mechanism could be a Multi-Member Constituency (MMC) model. Whilst South African policymakers may not be persuaded to code racial quotas into the electoral system as is the case in Singapore, evidence suggests that South African political parties remain racially slanted in their composition. Thus, by guaranteeing multiparty representation at the constituency level, the probability is that the various demographic groups will be better represented in an MMC system compared to a straight-winner-takes-all single-seat constituency model. Furthermore, parties should be encouraged to voluntarily ensure that their MMC candidates adequately reflect the demographics of the particular MMC and the party supporters they serve. Social cohesion programmes and policies should be data-driven, and accordingly, regular extensive surveys related thereto need to be adequately resourced.   The Singaporean case study has highlighted the importance of securing broad public support for social cohesion engineering, the nature of which can sometimes be very sensitive. To ensure that public policymakers are able to ensure that support, they need to accurately understand the public mood and sentiments, to which end an empirical measurement tool is required.   It is recommended that an extensive independent but publicly funded annual social cohesion survey be undertaken, much along the lines of the Attitudes, Actions and Aspirations: CAN-IPS Survey on Race Relations, which measures these issues within the Singapore context. Independence is necessary to ensure that the issues are reported on in a non-biased manner, and public funding is necessary to ensure that the measurements can be done in a sustainable way. A national dialogue needs to be organised to tackle the question of what constitutes the South African identity.   The ISI’s GovDem Survey underscores the undeniable reality that the lived reality in South Africa is still race-driven. And studies have shown that there isn’t a unified understanding of what constitutes the South African identity. The research cited in this paper suggests that South Africans continue to grapple with the question as to whether they are South Africans that happen to form a particular race group, or whether they are white/black/coloured/Indian South Africans.   The answering of this question will have a profound impact on how policymakers can and should approach the design of public policy. Furthermore, a unified understanding and acceptance of what that identity entails will allow for a greater understanding and broader societal buy-in to what can sometimes be sensitive social-engineering policy manoeuvres. Social cohesion trends are currently heading in the wrong direction. But it is not all doom and gloom. Whilst it is so that only around a third of South Africans believe a united South Africa is achievable, nearly 70 percent of them want a united nation. What is lacking is the political will, policies, and tools to build the cohesion. The Singaporean case study encapsulated in this report suggests that by deploying the right  policy instruments and driving those policies with the necessary vigour and priority, a united, and socially cohesive multiracial society is possible. What South African policymakers now need to do is to refocus their efforts on achieving the Mandela rainbow nation dream, by better equipping themselves with the means to do so. And with the necessary urgency that it demands. References Austin, M. 2021. Desmond Tutu coined the phrase 'Rainbow Nation' and his hope lives on. [Online] Available at: https://news.sky.com/story/desmond-tutu-coined-the-phrase-rainbow-nation-and-his-hope-lives-on-12504006 [accessed: 7 February 2024] Bris, A. 2014. Social Cohesion – Why it matters. [Online] Available at: https://www.imd.org/research-knowledge/articles/com-april-2014/ [accessed: 7 February 2024] BusinessTech, 2023. There’s a critical shortage of these shills going into 2023. [Online] Available at: https://businesstech.co.za/news/lifestyle/653227/theres-a-critical-shortage-of-these-skills-in-south-africa-going-into-2023/ [accessed: 7 February 2023] CRL Commission. N.d. Annual and Other Reports. [Online] Available at: https://www.crlcommission.org.za/reports/ [accessed: 7 February 2024] Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC). N.d. Annual Performance Plan 2023/24. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.dsac.gov.za/sites/default/files/2023-05/DSAC%20APP%202023-2024.pdf [accessed: 7 February 2024] Fukuyama, F. 2001. 'Social capital, civil society and development', Third World Quarterly, 22(1): 7-20. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3993342 [accessed: 14 February 2024] Desker, B. 2024. Interview at R. Rajaratham School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, on 19 March 2024 with Barry Desker, a member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, Singapore Diergaardt, C.M. 2018. South African national identity as constructed by black and coloured South Africans in South Korea. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://scholar.sun.ac.za/server/api/core/bitstreams/47b9e17c-4f89-488e-a7ad-eadf4957c7bd/content [accessed: 27 Marrch 2024] Haffejee, F. Cadre deployment unconstitutional and illegal – Commission’s bombshell finding on ANC’s key policy.  [Online] Available at: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-06-24-cadre-deployment-unconstitutional-and-illegal-commissions-bombshell-finding-on-ancs-key-policy/ [accessed: 27 March 2024] Inclusive Society Institute (ISI). 2022. Measuring Social Cohesion in South Africa. Results from the Inclusive Society’s 2021 GovDem survey. [Online] Available at: file:///C:/Users/dswan/Downloads/2022.04.22%20Measuring%20Social%20Cohesion%20in%20South%20Africa%20(2).pdf [accessed 7 February 2024] Inclusive Society Institute (ISI). 2023. GovDem Poll. Cape Town: Inclusive Society Institute Langer, A., Stewart, F., Smedts, K. & Demarest, L. 2017. Social Cohesion Index. [Online] Available at: https://www.socialcohesion.info/concepts/arnim-langer-/-francesstewart-/-kristien-smedts-/-leila-demarest [accessed: 7 February 2024] Mathews, M., Key, T.K. & Nah, S. 2022. Attitudes, Actions and Aspirations: Key findings from the CAN-IPS Survey on Race Relations 2021. Singapore: National University of Singapore Macdonald, G. 2012. The Emergence of Racial Politics in South Africa: Lessons for Peacebuilding. [Online] Available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/files/case-study-competition/20130322-The-Emergence-of-Racial-Politics-in-South-Africa.pdf [accessed: 27 March 2024] Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). N.d. About Singapore. [Online] Available at: https://www.mfa.gov.sg/Overseas-Mission/Washington/About-Singapore [accessed: 25 March 2024] National Planning Commission (NPC). N.d. National Development Plan 2030. Our future – make it work. [Oline] Available at: ndp-2030-our-future-make-it-workr.pdf [accessed: 7 February 2024] National Planning Commission (NPC). 2023. Towards a Framework for Achieving Social Cohesion within the 2030 Timeframe of the NDP. Correspondence received from the National Planning Commission. Pretoria: National Planning Commission Republic of Singapore. 1990. Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act, 1990. Singapore: Attorney-General’s Chambers Republic of Singapore. 2020 revised edition. Constitution of the Republic of Singapore. Singapore: The Law Revision Commission Republic of South Africa (RSA). N.d. People of South Africa. [Online] Available at:  https://www.gov.za/about-sa/south-africas-people [accessed: 27 March 2024] Republic of South Africa (RSA). 1996. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. Pretoria: Government Printer Republic of South Africa (RSA). 2002. Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities Act, 2002. Pretoria: Government Printer Republic of South Africa (RSA). 2023. Electoral Amendment Act 1 of 2023. [Online] Available at:  https://www.gov.za/documents/acts/electoral-amendment-act-1-2023-english-afrikaans-17-apr-2023 [accessed: 27 March 2024] S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSiS). 2024. Discussions held with an academic team from the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nan Yang Technological University, Singapore, on Tuesday, 19 March 2024. The team was led by Dr C.H. Leong and M. Nassir. Treasury. 2024. Vote 37: Sport, Arts and Culture. [Online] Available at: https://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/national%20budget/2024/ene/ENE24-Vote37_ChapterTables.xlsx [accessed: 2 April 2024] Scanlon Foundation Research Institute (SFRI). N.d. What is social cohesion? [Online] Available at: https://scanloninstitute.org.au/what-social-cohesion [accessed: 7 February 2024] Singapore-Expats. N.d. Brief History of Singapore. [Online] Available at: https://www.singaporeexpats.com/about-singapore/brief-history.htm [accessed: 25 March 2024] Snail, M.L. 2011. Revising aspects of language in South Africa during the Apartheid era, Historia Actual Online, 24:65-91 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This paper is published jointly by the  Inclusive Society Institute and School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University www.inclusivesociety.org.za            www.sun.ac.za/english/faculty/economy/sp

  • Africa Consultative Meeting: Bringing African voices together

    Copyright © 2024 Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8010 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute DISCLAIMER Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or its Board or Council members. May 2024 Author: Klaus Kotzé Editor: Daryl Swanepoel Content 1. Introduction: Bringing African voices together On 26 and 27 February 2024, the Inclusive Society Institute hosted the inaugural Africa Consultative Meeting. The meeting brought together the representatives of leading African think tanks, representatives from the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF), partners from the Global South Perspectives Network, and invited guests representing the South African government. In a fast-changing global environment where countries of the global south, and African countries in particular, remain underrepresented, there is an urgent need for these countries to engage and critically contribute to the security and development of the continent. Simply put, African insights are required to ensure that African interests are advanced. The continent cannot wait for or depend on others to develop their interests. At present, Africans are not doing enough to cohere and advance the continent. Too often, African representatives only meet at fora that are organised outside of the continent. Recognising the lack of cooperation between African thought leaders on substantive political and socio-economic issues affecting the continent, the Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) decided to host the inaugural Africa Consultative Meeting. This and future meetings seek to provide a space for African think tanks to discuss issues and initiate understanding regarding the security and development of the continent. There is rarely a consolidated continental position when African think tanks represent their different countries at global fora. When there is alignment, it is more the consequence of chance. Recognising this concern, the inaugural Africa Consultative Meeting sought to explore mechanisms to develop a consolidated position that will advance development and peace and security on the African continent. Such a position would then form the basis for African delegates’ representations at global fora. The inaugural meeting first sought agreement from delegates that this is indeed a concern, and then agreed to rigorously pursue a collective position. One that will advance the interests of all member states, and the continent as a whole. As a first opportunity to gather a consolidated position, the inaugural meeting requested the representatives of the various African regions to assess their region’s relationship with China. The meeting also invited representatives from China, allowing discussions on the China-Africa relationship, with a particular focus on the work of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF) and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Consensus through discussion will form the bedrock and aspiration of the meeting as it develops into a seminal platform for African thought. The participants in the meeting included, amongst others: Ms Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Head of Policy, African National Congress and former Deputy Chief of Staff, African Union Commission Hon Alvin Botes MP, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Prof Wei Xu, Deputy Director of the Institute for African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University, China Ms Ariella Liu, Director of the South Africa – China Think Tank, based at Nelson Mandela University Business School Mr Zine Barka, Head of Academic Chair, Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), Algeria Prof Assi Kimou, Deputy Director of Cellule d’Analyse des Politiques Économiques du CIRES (CAPEC), Côte d'Ivoire Dr Ndiakhat Ngom, General President of the South-South Transatlantic Institute, Senegal Dr Melha Rout Biel, Executive Director of the South Sudan Center for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS), South Sudan Prof Francis Matambalya, Executive Director of the Nyerere Foundation, Tanzania Prof Omar Mjenga, Centre for International Policy Africa, Tanzania Dr David Monyae, Co-Director of the University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute Mr Priyal Singh, Institute for Security Studies Ms Buyelwa Sonjica, Chairperson of the ISI Advisory Council and former Cabinet Minister Hon Faiez Jacobs, Senior Member of Parliament: African National Congress Ms Jenny Wu, Africa Chinese Women’s Association Dr Georgios Kostakos, Executive Director of the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability 2. Setting the scene and objectives of the meeting Dary Swanepoel, CEO: Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute hosted the Africa Consultative Meeting with the objective of bringing together think tanks from across Africa to consider, discuss and develop policy proposals that will advance development on the continent. It is the belief of the Institute that African think tank representatives travel all over the world arguing the case for Africa. They meet each other abroad, but do not sufficiently meet on the African continent to engage and synchronise toward a common position prior to international engagements. The Institute, therefore, decided to put together the Africa Consultative Meeting with the objective to go some way in building a collaborative approach between African think tanks. This meeting saw eight think tanks participating, drawn from north, west, east, central, and southern Africa. It aimed to serve as an embryo for setting up an annual consultative meeting amongst likeminded African think tanks for the purpose of dialoguing substantive political and socio-economic issues confronting the African continent. The idea was to prepare these think tanks for engaging in various international conferences on the basis of a more composed contribution. This meeting served as an exploratory one. If agreed to and proven successful, the hope was to open it to other think tanks and hold the meeting on an annual basis. The meeting’s deliberations would seek to consolidate a collective African position on major contemporary challenges facing the continent. It would further seek to integrate these positions and the participation of African think tanks into the broader Global South think tank community. The second objective of the meeting was to discuss Africa’s approach to multilateralism and its relationships with regional formations. In this regard, the meeting saw various presentations offering the perspectives of the different regions in Africa, assessing the state of China-Africa relations, with specific emphasis on African proposals to further strengthen cooperation, and to compile and present a synthesised African position on China-Africa relations to the CATTF. Thirdly, the meeting introduced the concept of the African Fragility Index and sought cooperation among participants for its development. Lastly, the think tanks would be introduced to the Global South Perspectives Network, a grouping of academics, policymakers, former senior government and United Nations officials and diplomats. Convened by the Brussels-based, Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability, the Network will introduce its thinking around the idea of a Global Resilience Council. 3. The role of intellectuals in Africa’s development Ms Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Head of Policy, African National Congress and former Deputy Chief of Staff, African Union Commission The establishment of an intra-African think tank forum to consolidate African views at fora such as the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum is an excellent objective for such a meeting. Pan-African intellectuals have played a central role in the history of the continent, paving the way for the anti-slavery and anti-colonial movements. These intellectuals have played an active part in the anti-colonial struggles, with debates discussing the construction of post-independent states, and debates about African federation and Africa’s struggles with structural adjustment. Intellectuals again played a central role in the early 1990s, with the freeing of Namibia, followed by the freeing of South Africa, and a renewed focus on how to get the continent back on track. They were also pivotal in the discussion about Africa’s renaissance and the formation of the African Union, its ancillary policy frameworks and, eventually, Agenda 2063. Think tanks are seen as essential in responding to the escalation of African coups, of which there have been thirteen in the last three years. Think tanks must look at these complex issues and then advise African policymakers, leaders, and governments on the best way forward. Similarly, the link between the African Union Agenda 2063 and the sustainable development goals is seen as harbouring some concerns that need to be analysed by intellectuals. Furthermore, issues of integration on the continent remain important. Focus needs to remain on the complex diversity of African integration, from what is happening in different regional institutions to the movement of people and the African Continental Free Trade Area. Much progress has been made since the launch of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000. The launch of the African Union, and its transition towards playing an important role in changing the approach to peace and security, has been foundational – so too has the formation of institutions such as the African Peer Review Mechanism. With all the developments on the continent, think tanks, due to their autonomous structures, continue to be paramount. They must employ their independence to pursue critical ends. Another significant point regarding think tanks is: they must learn from each other. The meeting therefore offers a wonderful opportunity for think tanks to get to know each other, to discuss central concerns, and to find pathways to work together going forward. It is useful to be joined by Chinese colleagues, in the format of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum. African think tanks can draw much from the experience of China, particularly looking at how to strengthen planning and capacity. Drawing from Chinese experience does not put Africa in the camp of China. Instead, and similarly proclaimed by Pan-African Kwame Nkrumah, Africa should not look east or west, it should look forward as the African continent. From this approach African states must build friendships with all friendly states, finding pathways for development. 4. South Africa and Africa’s multilateral engagements Hon Alvin Botes MP, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Foreign policy has traditionally been state centric, and the role of non-state actors has not necessarily been fully appreciated. This meeting, brought together by the Inclusive Society Institute, shows how non-state actors have a pivotal role to play regarding the architecture of ensuring the inclusive prosperity that is envisaged in Agenda 2063. This unity of purpose relates to what the intellectuals think and what is executed upon by the people’s representatives. From the perspective of the relationship between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China, there are several critical issues about which the intellectual community should have a unity of purpose. Noteworthy is the role that China has played in assisting to build the African continent – a contribution that stems from its pro-poor programme. Although this partnership has been based on the common good, it has also been fraught with complexities because of Africa’s own subjective weaknesses. For example, the failure to find commonality in implementing the Abuja Treaty, which spoke to the unification of the African continent based on economic solidarity. African representatives should develop this thinking and produce meaning not only for its relations with China, but for other major partners and blocs. FOCAC has played a substantive role in developing the people-to-people relationship. Through FOCAC, the first Agenda 2063 ten-year plan was executed, a very noble intent in relation to the plight of the African people. The South African approach was said not to pursue narrow national interests, as national interests are not reconcilable with the Pan-African outlook. Rather, South Africa sought to ensure that it remains true to the founding values of the organisation of African unity. For this reason, South Africa welcomed the full operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. For South Africa to be an ambitious African state would be in its national interest. It is in the people’s interest to show what the Chinese have done to eradicate poverty. Targets should be set to eliminate income poverty; however, this can only be done if there is the political commitment to ensure that the trade basket will substantively change. After discussions with the ambassador of China, a commitment has been made to achieve this – a commitment to increase bilateral trade by R100 billion. This is significant, but it will be more valuable if that R100 billion speaks to beneficiation and value addition. Last year, 2023, was a very positive one for South Africa in terms of cementing its relationships with the African continent. It was also a positive year for the relationship with China. Not only was the strategic dialogue convened, but South Africa was also able to convene the people-to-people dialogue mechanism, and in particular, South Africa received the Chinese president for his fourth state visit. This Africa Consultative Meeting must produce research outputs that African states can draw from when attending FOCAC and other strategic meetings. It is important to rally together and aggregate a common voice of Africa in relation to these engagements. That is why academia and institutions have a pivotal role to play – ensuring a multiplicity of voices. The message should be the same in terms of what needs to be done between Africa and China in the FOCAC programme. There is much uncertainty about what non-state actors think should be the G20 priorities for South Africa in 2025. At present the government is besieged with requests for engagement on the intragovernmental level. But there should be some indication, not only from South African research institutions, but from the entire African continent, of what should be the development agenda of the G20 plus the AU in 2025. FOCAC will remain an exemplary form of South-South cooperation, premised on a win-win approach. It is a very important mechanism to ensure that inclusive prosperity based on socio-economic development is achieved. It is important that this forum, amongst others, should be thoroughly engaged. Despite the fact that the government does not have an internal policy and research repository, it does call on progressive intellectuals to make contributions on foreign policy. These progressive institutions should be equally critical as to how government executes its foreign policy, and this criticism should be realistic in terms of details. As for the Chinese, they see in Africa a partner to achieve their goal of building a modern socialist country in all respects. They see in Africa a reliable, not only ideological, partner. A development partner. It is in Africa’s interest to be true to the founding values of the African Union, which speaks to the centrality of a Pan-African outlook. 5. African perspectives on the state and development of China-Africa relations It is recognised that China is an increasingly important partner of the continent. Many African states have recently established or developed their relations with China. While these relations have seen advances, including the increase in the volume of trade, China-Africa relations are not new and have deep historical significance. Both sides supported each other in their shift towards independence in the previous century. This initial support from independence has ensured that various African states have walked an extensive path with their Chinese compatriots, culminating in cooperation and partner contracts, principally through the Forum for China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and often under the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s flagship foreign policy programme. At a recent Africa Consultative Meeting organised by the Inclusive Society Institute, one of the topics that came under scrutiny was Africa’s relationship with China. In an attempt to find a synchronised African position, the participating think-tanks from across Africa came to a number of commonly agreed conclusions. Africa must learn from China while remaining independent The partnership between Africa and China offers tremendous opportunity for Africa’s development at a time when its relations with traditional Western partners have come under strain. It is in the interests of African states to be ambitious. It is, therefore, in Africa’s interest to look at what the Chinese have done to pursue development and eradicate poverty. Targets should be set, and programmes drawn up to ensure that goals are met. While African states should draw from Chinese experience when it comes to industrialisation and development, this does not necessarily mean that African states are in China’s ‘camp’. Nor should they seek to copy the Chinese. Instead, on the similar basis as proclaimed by Pan-African Kwame Nkrumah, Africa should not look east or west, it should look forward as the African continent. From this approach African states must build friendships with all friendly states. They must develop regional and independent pathways that are fit for purpose. Africans must ensure greater internal security and stability, so to spur further investment. Africans must take ownership of their affairs and not simply blame others. In this vein, China should not be blamed when African states cannot repay their debts. The Africa-China partnership: Concerns of a Chinese bias The meeting agreed that African states should not overly rely on any external parties. Relations should be balanced better. Africa must be more of a partner than a philanthropic beneficiary or customer. The relations between Africa and China, still appears to be biased towards China, thus not yet giving full effect to the agreed notion of a mutually beneficial relationship between the two sides. More needs to be done to ensure African development, technology transfer and the buildup of expertise. Political intelligence and commitment are required to address these biases. It is incumbent upon African leaders to have a thorough understanding of their own local realities, so as to raise the perceived imbalances with their Chinese counterparts. It is encouraging that the Chinese are displaying tangible commitments to address imbalances. One such example, is the case of South Africa, where China has committed to increase bilateral trade by R100 billion. Another is the opening up of the Chinese market to more imports from Africa -  and it is facilitating the competitiveness of African products through zero--rating import tariffs on a growing number of products from the continent. Yet, it will be more valuable if that R 100 billion speaks to beneficiation and value addition. The trade balance between China and Africa has long been in China’s favour. African governments need therefore to do more to ensure greater balance. The continent must become more of a partner than a customer. Here African states must stand up to achieve their own industrial autonomy and overall independence. Africa must uplift itself To prevent over-reliance on any external party, African states must uplift themselves. While various concerns were heard about skewed relations with others, including China, it can be argued that it is primarily Africans who were letting Africa down. More needs to be done by Africans to understand their own realities and the needs of the continent. Research and more programmatic studies are needed so to ensure that they know what it stands for and they need to empower themselves to pursue their own future with confidence. Greater knowledge of self will allow the continent to better develop its own strategies, as well as better perceive its worth. A deeper, longitudinal understanding of partnerships, the structuring of loans and the effect of foreign investment will also allow greater balance in its relationships with external parties. Presently, Africa does not sufficiently know holistically where partners, including China, are investing and what effect it has on the continent. Greater knowledge will allow it to strategically partner with all sides and draw maximum benefit. With a growing population, Africa needs to invest in itself to bolster employment. By pursuing its own industrial autonomy, Africa will diversify and rely less on others. Setting its own targets and strategies is important for Africa. In recent years, African states have sent strong signals that they need to extend its relationship beyond the West. This is a turning point that deserves reflection. They need to engage widely to ensure that relationships are not skewed at the expense of others given that it is in the continents interest to have productive relationship beyond the East/West divide. Conclusion Whilst Africa’s partnership with China is central to its interests, the relationship must shift more rapidly from the current bias in China’s favour, to the mutually-beneficial vision that the two sides share. To ensure mutual benefit, Africans must take ownership and better perceive and strategically pursue their interests. They must engage in global fora from a calculated position that effectively pursues a consolidated continental strategy. 5.1. North African perspective Mr Zine Barka, Head of Academic Chair, Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), Algeria Many African countries have recently established and developed partnerships with China. The policy priorities for North Africa, while similar to other African states, are unique. In some countries China has become the first commercial partner, replacing some traditional partners. In Algeria, for example, where it used to be France, now it is China. These developments beg certain questions, including: What is the novelty of such a new partnership? How is it different to other commercial relationships? How is it more suited to the African countries? And finally, how can these relations between the continent and China be boosted to make them profitable for both countries and what issues stand in the way and need to be addressed? Central to these questions is to look at how the partnership between China and Africa brings potential benefits for the economies involved. Another salient point the speaker raised is to ask whether the Chinese African partnership is mutually beneficial. When Algeria was under occupation by France during the 50s, China supported the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), the socialist revolutionary party, at an early stage. China was the first non-Arab country to recognise the FLN as the Algerian provisional government in December 1958. Between 1958 and 1962 China assisted the armed wing of the FLN by providing funds, arms, and training for Algerian officers. After Algeria gained independence in 1962, China continued to fill the void left by France after 132 years of occupation. Algeria received aid and material bought from the socialist Eastern Block, the former USSR, Yugoslavia, Cuba, and some other countries such as Egypt and Syria. China provided the US$15 million low interest loan to Algeria. Right from independence, China has supported Algeria. When the Algerian Civil War loomed in 1992, the established socialist economic path underwent significant changes. The mismanagement in the preceding period led to national assistance by the IMF under significant conditions or structural adjustments and debt rescheduling. In the early 1990s Algeria undertook to define the system management vote, thus concretising the transition to a more liberal economy based on the exchange of goods and services carried out directly by individuals. With the opening of the economy and lifting the monopoly on trade, Algeria turned to China. Several cooperation and partner contracts were signed between the two countries to strengthen their relations. In 2014, the Algerian bilateral relationship became a comprehensive strategic partnership that was the first of its kind in the Sino-Arab world. In 2018 Algeria joined the Belt and Road Initiative and then, later, the three-year plan for cooperation in some strategic areas was signed. Finally, in July 2023, the Algerian president made an official visit to Beijing to elevate the new partnership to a global dimension, giving it a bigger role. As a result, the two countries signed 19 cooperation agreements, memorandums, in valued sectors such as rail, transport, technology transfer, agriculture, cooperation, communication and sports. The partnership agreements to facilitate and strengthen cooperation between China and Algeria have created apprehension for Algeria’s new small local enterprises, who cannot compete with the Chinese products. The key challenge facing North African economies is job creation for the growing population. With a growing population, Algeria needs to invest in itself in order to bolster employment. The speaker stressed that it is important to assess exactly where China is investing and what effect the investment has had. The trade balance – which has long been in China’s favour – is another important aspect to look at. This is a government concern and needs to be more balanced, as the Algerian state has funded most of the projects undertaken by the Chinese companies. There has also been little transfer of technology or expertise to the Algerian society. Despite the efforts made by Algeria, the country’s main challenge is still to diversify the economy – to move away from oil and to create more business opportunities. Furthermore, it is also essential to improve the business climate to achieve better economic growth and to reduce food dependence. There is an urgent need to establish data on contracts and trade between the two countries to enable empirical studies to assess the effects of trade on both countries and to suggest alternatives. In conclusion, the partnership between Algeria and China is a highly valuable one but cannot remain in its current bias towards China. 5.2. West African perspectives Prof Assi Kimou, Deputy Director of Cellule d’Analyse des Politiques Économiques du CIRES (CAPEC), Côte d'Ivoire Central in the relationship between China and West Africa is the structuring of loans, foreign direct investment, and private sector investment. These all come with certain challenges. The cooperation between China and Africa and Côte d'Ivoire specifically, requires political will. This political will gained momentum in the early 2000s, with former President Laurent Gbagbo, who sought to diversify the state’s economic partnerships and give Côte d'Ivoire an opportunity to address the infrastructure deficit. The increase of support from China challenges the traditional support from and business with France, West Africa’s historical partner. The shift towards China represents a turning point for West Africa, with clear changes in states such as Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal. Furthermore, sectors that can address the issues of productivity and competitiveness are supported. In these sectors, West African countries such as Côte d'Ivoire have a new major partner in China. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has significantly increased in the region of West Africa. While FDI from China remains low compared to France, it is increasing, especially from state-owned businesses. FDI has increased by 15.6% between 2012 and 2021, with most companies being based in Abidjan. This is said to be a challenge, though, due to the concentration of capital in only one area. What is encouraging about Chinese operations in Côte d'Ivoire is that 89% of employees are African, however, these processes are focussed on local markets. The Chinese promote exports to Africa and not African export-led production. The trade imbalance is of serious concern, as products are entering Africa but not the other way around. More must be done to have African goods enter the Chinese market. While China has supported African countries, their debts are still growing, with African states not growing fast enough to repay these debts. Corruption is another devil that plagues further cooperation. So too is the low level of skills and technology transfers. A further challenge for China-Africa cooperation is the language barrier. French is deeply rooted and has historical significance, while the citizens of Africa consider English to be the best language to learn for international cooperation. The Chinese language only accounts for 3%, so this remains a barrier. In response, China is supporting academic development on the continent. Yet, while the Chinese are setting up Chinese cultural programmes, there is very little knowledge of Africa or African studies programmes in the Chinese academy. This is something to be addressed. Dr Ndiakhat Ngom, General President of the South-South Transatlantic Institute, Senegal Building trust should be at the centre of Africa’s relationship with China. Africa and China have historically had fruitful relations, reflecting a good example of South-South cooperation. It is a relationship that was built on three essential phases. Firstly, China supported African countries in their struggle for independence and their development programme. Secondly, Africa played a decisive role in the recognition of China in global governance when its vote in 1971 ensured China’s access to the United Nations. Mao Zedong recognised this debt and expressed his gratitude. The last phase was in 2000, with the formalisation and intensification of relations, in similar fashion to this meeting, within the framework of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum. Twenty-four years after its creation, FOCAC has become the reference point for China-Africa. Due to its industrial competitiveness, China sees Africa as a strategic trading partner – with China receiving a steady supply of raw materials, energy, fishing, agroforestry, and mining benefits. In return, African countries benefit from improvements to roads, ports, airports and infrastructure, and diversification of trading. Geopolitically, both parties share the vision of a more just and equitable world, supporting each other at the United Nations in order to influence decision-making. Finally, the enlargement of BRICS to include Egypt and Ethiopia in 2023 is said to represent a significant milestone for South Africa, and Africa. Despite these obvious successes, there have also been concerns in the relationship. As was the case with the France-Africa relationship in the past, the China-Africa connection not only brings praise but raises suspicions and criticism too. Four sectors stand out in this regard: the skills, economic, environmental, and geopolitical areas. The first area is skills and technology transfer. China has set out to train 564 directors and teachers at vocational schools in Africa each year. China also plans to invite 20 000 government officials and technical professionals from African countries to seminars and forums. In addition, to support the development of African capacities in science, education and innovation, China will implement a cooperation programme between 100 Chinese and African higher education institutions. It will launch ten pilot projects between China and African partners. Training and technology transfer are essential to the industrialisation of the emergence of Africa – the African population is young, dynamic, and demanding this training. Economically, China’s direct investment in Africa is US$3.4 billion in 2022, making China the fourth-largest foreign investor in Africa. This investment brings growth but there are also many interests in labour. There needs to be more equal economic cooperation in which China invests in industry activity that requires technology transfer. Currently, its main sector of activity is construction and energy, an area of high demand for often low-schooled labour. A better balance is required, where Africa becomes more of a partner than a customer. African states must stand up for achieving their own industrial autonomy, by looking at China’s own trajectory when it developed through its own initiatives. China has surpassed many developed states and has achieved significant feats in design and production of innovative goods and equipment. Likewise, Africa must invest in local schemes to gradually gain its own autonomy. Setting its own targets and strategies is important for Africa. In recent years African states have sent strong signals that they are unhappy with their relationship with the West. This is said to be a turning point that deserves reflection. Platforms such as FOCAC and CATTF have a role to play in preventing such a skewed relationship with China. A few recommendations in conclusion: the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum must set goals for its analyses; in West Africa it is imperative to carry out a study to evaluate the relationship between the migration and the fishing crisis; and lastly, a report should be drawn up that assesses the possible impact of FOCAC to help it with decision-making. In short, cultivating wisdom and a capacity for listening and anticipation is the message that Senegal wants to impart upon FOCAC. 5.3. Central African perspective Dr Melha Rout Biel, Executive Director of the South Sudan Center for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS), South Sudan China-Africa relations have grown significantly over the last 40 years. China is now one of Africa’s biggest investors and donors, identifying Africa as a source of its ambitious programme of economic, diplomatic political development. With the help of African resources, China has become the second strongest economic global power. However, despite all of its promise, there is a growing worry about the future cooperation between China and Africa when it comes to loans and debts. In this area, it is imperative for the CATTF to engage African as well as Chinese policymakers, avoiding mistakes and crises in the future. African states must prove what the loans are for, and  they must agree to payment terms. China has projected itself as a voice for developing countries but faces a lot of criticism, particularly from the West. China is recognised as the largest developing country in the world, while the African continent is recognised as the continent with the most developing states. Both China and Africa are believed to share a post-colonial experience, which is another point of cooperation between them. The role of think tanks is imperative to ensure a preferable China-Africa relationship. Critical assessments – particularly regarding unpayable debt – are needed as China and Africa grow closer together in many areas. The problem of unpayable debt is not one that is singular to China. Since 2010 African public debt has been growing extensively. In fact, data from December 2022 indicate that African countries have accumulated billions of dollars in debts. The IMF and the World Bank consider that at least 22 low-income countries in Africa are either in debt distress or are at high risk of debt distress as of November 2022. According to the experts, debt distress means that a country is having problems with solving its debt obligations. The high-risk debt burden could endanger African economic growth and development. Africa is already facing challenges such as conflict, insecurity, drought, dislocation, unemployment, and insecurity. Were this situation to continue, Africa will not be able to deal with pressing issues such as development, meeting obligations, and achieving the UN sustainable development goals. For China, Africa is one of the biggest beneficiaries of Chinese bilateral lending. The West accuses Beijing of debt trafficking, but this criticism has been rejected by China. The Western University Group Development Policy Centre shows that the Chinese debt to Africa varies widely across the continent. Further research suggests that Chinese policymakers are taking an increasingly hard line when lending to Africa. According to the speaker, these measures should be applauded. Africa’s funding problems should not only require foreign support. Africa must invest in itself, in its own developments and support its own businesses. Not enough is being done in this regard. By investing in Africa, the continent will actively fend off escalating inflation. Africans must also ensure greater internal security and stability, so as to spur further investment. When Africans take ownership of their own affairs, they do not blame others – China in this case – when they cannot repay their own debts. The problem is with those who ask for a loan and then cannot pay it back when they are not abiding by the rules of the procedure. They cannot blame China for that. China is not the problem, Africa is. This is something that think tanks must critically assess and contribute to. 5.4. East African perspectives Prof Francis Matambalya, Executive Director of the Nyerere Foundation, Tanzania, and Prof Omar Mjenga, Centre for International Policy Africa, Tanzania Africa’s relationship with China is not a new one. Tanzania and China have developed and defined a friendship over a significant period. The socialist Tanzanian policies, known as Ujamaa, were influenced in association with China. In Tanzania several tracks of cooperation have been built with Chinese colleagues. The Julius Nyerere Leadership Institute is but one. It was constructed by the Chinese as a present to the parties that spearheaded the liberation of Africa. Based in Kibaha, about 60 kilometres from Dar es Salaam, the Institute is an international organisation owned by six political parties, namely, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) from Tanzania; FRELIMO from Mozambique; African National Congress (ANC), South Africa; MPLA, Angola; ZANU-PF, Zimbabwe; and SWAPO, Namibia. Together they own the Institute, a very impressive, very modern institution. The Institute pursues work across various programmes, covering issues including peace, unity, and development. These were issues dear to Julius Nyerere and are central to China. At present the Institute is pursuing independent programmes in five areas. They involve, but are not steered by, Chinese institutions. Current programmes include a Nyerere Legacy Week, where the legacy of Nyerere is kept alive through workshops, commissioned papers, and talks. Usually, about three-to-five scholars are commissioned to do in-depth research of Nyerere’s ideas, to see how they could be applied in the current context and what could be learned to inspire the youth. Furthermore, cultural activities are organised to remind everyone where they come from. This year, the funding of this programme came from a Chinese company. The other projects seek to leverage Chinese knowledge and experience to help Africa charter its way forward – for instance, there is a strong focus on industrialisation from the Chinese model. A further programme looks at the hospitality industry, which is an area where there is huge potential for growth. Altogether, East Africa wants to leverage China’s experience, and promote sustainable industrialisation on the continent. But it also wants African partners to drive its own development. This meeting offers a very serious opportunity to bring think tanks together – for far too long African think tanks have been working in isolation. It is imperative to come up with a forum to take Africa forward. There are six areas that the Nyerere Foundation believes will take the world forward: peace, defence, security, foreign policy, international relations, and gender, women, and marginalised societies. Together, think tanks must design ways of cooperation. There are already various foreign-steered fora in Africa; it is time that it designs its own, for its own development. It is the role of think tanks to conduct research and factfinding to advise governments on their decision-making processes. Often, the failures of governments, are the failures of think tanks in that country. 5.5. Southern African perspective Dr David Monyae, Co-Director, University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute (UJCI) The Africa Consultative Meeting represents a significant milestone. Whereas some delegates met in China previously, it is important that Africans meet each other on the continent and that the different think tanks get to know each other, find agreements and similarities on how to approach their relationship with China, eventually pursuing Agenda 2063. It is shocking that even though African think tanks get invited by other states, including China, for meetings and briefings, they do not receive the same treatment in their own countries. Think tanks hardly meet each other to discuss issues, which is why this meeting represents a first. A first, held on African soil, to meet and discuss the important issues that affect the various institutes attending the gathering. The meeting is a reminder of the seminal 1955 Bandung Conference, where Africans and Asians met to discuss shared global grievances such as colonialism, imperialism, development, and the United Nations and its agencies being unbalanced in favour of the developed world. There they discussed technology transfer, the lack of cooperation, cultural matters and more. Today, a new Cold War has emerged. The more things have changed, the more they appear to have stayed the same. The US has remained the dominant power in the West, the UN remains untransformed as it was then, Africa remains the poorest, while Asia has grown significantly. Even though states are independent, they are not enjoying their freedoms, due to political and economic restraints. Global issues have a disproportionate effect on Africa, and with the emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Africa is destined to be left behind even more if it does not improve its skills and knowledge. While Africa is confronted with crises emerging from outside the continent, the bulk of the crises that Africa faces are of its own making. African states need to cooperate with each other to solve these crises, with guidance  from external relationships. The most thriving of these relationships is Africa’s connection with China. However, there are key issues that need to be addressed. And in order to do this, a reappraisal of FOCAC is needed. In the 24 years since FOCAC was established, the depth of mutual understanding between Africa and China has flourished. The forum developed into a principled organisational framework and forms the foundation of the relationship, giving it stability and predictability. It is a platform for China and Africa to discuss both high and low political matters, from international affairs, peace and security, and economic cooperation to education, cultural exchange, youth, and women groups. The forum has grown in leaps and bounds both quantitively and qualitatively. At the inaugural gathering in 2000 only 44 African states were represented. In the last meeting, in 2021 in Senegal, a total of 53 African states including the African Union Commission were represented. Since its first meeting, the length of the action plan has expanded four times over, which signifies a more comprehensive relationship. The forum now has 28 subforums, including the Investing in Africa Forum, China-Africa People’s Forum, and the China-Africa Law Enforcement and Security Forum, amongst others. The subforums are earmarked to focus on specific areas of cooperation between China and Africa. There are also 21 special purpose instruments such as the China-Africa Joint Business Council, China-Africa Products Exhibition Centre, China-Africa Chamber of Industry and Commerce, China-Africa Youth Festival, and the UNEP China-Africa Environment Centre. These instruments are also meant to streamline and facilitate cooperation in selected areas. Furthermore, the forum has developed implementation and monitoring mechanisms at three levels. At the apex is the ministerial conference, which meets every three years to deliberate on and adopt declarations and action plans. The senior official meeting consists of senior directors from member country’s ministries that meet twice a year and a few days before the forum takes place. Through these interactions, it often appears that China knows more about the continent, than the very Africans representing the continent. This is evidenced in that China invites African think tanks for briefings, in Africa and China, but the same is not done from the African side. The level of resources, researchers, and analysts, is also hugely imbalanced in favour of China. Africa needs to be more serious about its research. It needs more complex studies to understand its relations with its strategic partners, to understand where strategic interests converge. Africa needs to evaluate its partners so that it can form a basis upon which to determine its strategic interests. Presently, it is a free flow, with heads of states going everywhere, without specific purpose – this is not strategic. Africa needs to be more intentional about who it takes seriously. The forums in which states engage should also be structured better, with formal agreements and clearly delineated outcomes. The Chinese take African concerns seriously. For example, when African leaders complained about the imbalance of trade, President Xi opened up agricultural trade with Africa to correct that. However, the greatest imbalance is that of raw materials leaving Africa. By allowing this, Africa is exporting jobs. Beneficiation is imperative, and China is important in this regard, but Africa needs to demand that others also help with this issue. Africa must not underestimate the power that it has. Its own development banks should come together and ensure that when Chinese companies are working on the African continent, that they do not go it alone. Africa remains too fragmented, with a lack of unity and understanding. Worse, African states compete with each other, instead of working together. Although internal trade remains at a lowly 15-20%, there are opportunities. The biggest of which is the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which has the power to bring significant change to the continent. 6. Reviewing the purpose and objectives of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the role of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF) Prof Wei Xu, Deputy Director of the Institute for African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University and Ms Ariella Liu, Director of the South Africa – China Think Tank, based at Nelson Mandela University Business School China and its people wish to engage with Africa. In February, the speakers were joined by students from China on a fieldtrip through South Africa that led to an appreciation of the country’s natural landscapes, wildlife reserves and cultural heritage. The students also took part in the Spring Festival in Johannesburg, which was very well attended, particularly by South Africans, proving that South Africans are also interested in China. FOCAC was officially launched in Beijing in 2000 and is a product of China-Africa cooperation. However, it was not China but the African countries that first put forward the idea of establishing a China-Africa cooperation mechanism. With South Africa being the most developed African country, a China-Africa cooperation mechanism could not be established before it initiated diplomatic relations with China in 1998. The core mechanism of FOCAC is a ministerial meeting held every three years, alternating between China and the African countries. China will host the next session of FOCAC in 2024, which will be the second time that Chinese and African leaders will gather after the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit. Each meeting results in a joint declaration and action plan on the basis of full consultation between China and Africa. It shows that from its existence, FOCAC has had different dialogue mechanisms with African countries compared to the former colonial powers, reflecting the originality, equality, and the initiative of African participation. And since its establishment in 2000, FOCAC has demonstrated that it is a platform and a mechanism for China and Africa to engage in collective dialogues, consultations, and equal and pragmatic cooperation. FOCAC has promoted the leapfrog development of China-Africa cooperation in various fields. With its pioneering spirit of equal consultation, pragmatic cooperation and keeping pace with the times, it has become a prominent brand of China’s multilateralism and has promoted the leapfrog development of China-Africa cooperation in various fields. It has advanced equal consultation, pragmatic cooperation and has become a prominent brand of China’s multilateral diplomacy under the banner of south-south cooperation. It is also a platform for Chinese and African leaders to meet regularly. The action plans for China-Africa cooperation, launched every three years, outlines the blueprint and the implementation parts for China-Africa cooperation in various fields. At the political level, the FOCAC hosting a ministerial meeting and a summit every three years allows the leaders of China and Africa to exchange ideas with each other. This helps the two sides strengthen mutual political trust and communicate on major international issues. FOCAC’s economic action plan covers most aspects of trade, investment, contracting of engineering projects and development assistance. It also formulates measures to achieve the development goals in each area. And since 2008/9, China has been Africa’s largest trading partner. At the people-to-people exchange level, it was said that there are more and more Chinese people investing in and visiting Africa and more and more Africans going to China to study and do business. China-Africa people-to-people exchange has expanded to fields of ideas and joint research. China has offered about 120 000 government scholarships to African students, co-funded 61 Confucius institutes and 44 Confucius classrooms in 46 African countries. It has dispatched 1.11 million medical team members to 48 African countries. And has treated about 220 million African patients and established 150 pairs of friendship cities between the two sides. The public opinion, based off China-Africa friendship, is becoming more and more consolidated. Since its establishment, FOCAC has adhered to the spirit of being driven by African needs, doing practical work for African people, reducing poverty and promoting development. FOCAC has closely integrated with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). So far, 52 African countries under the African Union Commission have signed the cooperation documents on the BRI with China, making Africa one of the most important continents participating in the BRI. With regards to the China-Africa Think Thanks Forum (CATTF), the forum has developed since the 2010 speech delivered by Chinese President Xi Jinping in South Africa. The CATTF was launched the following year in Hangzhou. It has been highly important for China-Africa academic cooperation. Since inception, the CATTF has had 12 sessions organised alternately in China and Africa. The topics, concepts and focus points are determined through consultation, with the core issues being those that concern both sides. The China-Africa Think Tanks Forum has become a widely influential academic forum in China and on the African continent, and even in Western countries. The CATTF platform allows Chinese and African scholars the opportunity to enhance their international influence, by creating a new model of academic participation and performance. It is not only an annual event for Chinese and African thinkers and academics to engage, but also a forum for Chinese and African politicians to interpret the policies and express their views freely. After more than ten years, the forum has become an institutionalised platform for dialogue and exchange between the diplomatic, academic, think tank, business and media communities in China and Africa. Furthermore, the CATTF has brought together current African scholars, think tank experts, government officials and so on. Here, they have enhanced their communication and cooperation. It has created a favourable platform for the academics and politicians and for the scholars and officials to rely on each other and support each other, thus forming an aggregation effect. All previous CATTF meetings have attracted intensive coverage by national and international media outlets, which has quickly and widely disseminated the current Chinese policy towards Africa and the strategic ideas and the significance of China-Africa cooperation. 7. Current state of security and stability in Africa Mr Priyal Singh, Institute for Security Studies This presentation focusses on the overarching contours and broad trends of the current international peace and security landscape, and the African peace and security landscape, in particular. In summary, globally things are not looking too good at the moment. The inevitable end results of longstanding governance deficits and weak public institutions is stunted economic growth and development, ongoing growth and operation of violent extremist radical groups and radical non-state actors, as well as widening inequality across the international system coupled with the volatility and fragility of the international trade and financial system. Many of these longstanding, pervasive and deeply rooted challenges have been exacerbated by emergent conflict stressors including the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing concerns over cybersecurity and the spread of disinformation online, as well as the overarching existential threats we all face posed by the climate crisis. Many of these issues have been left inadequately addressed by international actors, which has led to popular uprisings, armed conflicts, prolonged insurgencies, and terrorist activities. And these threats are felt much more acutely, especially across the African continent, during critical periods surrounding electoral processes or during times of political transition. The confluence and interplay of these various factors, amongst many others, have informed the trajectory of conflicts across the world’s many conflict belts or zones. But this is only one part of the story. The contemporary African peace and security landscape places much of the blame squarely at the feet of state actors, which remain the single most important and influential actors within the international system. The experiences of the last few years compel a much more critical view of the role of nation states in initiating and compounding, shaping, and prolonging the conflicts that we all seek to address as the international community. The research of the Institute for Security Studies has noted how even a simple thing like access to humanitarian aid has become politicised within multilateral bodies. This is due to the myopic, shortsighted interpretations of national interest, which can lead to devastating results over longer term frames of reference for human security. Not just in Africa, but across the world. This is happening at a time when the world has arguably developed its most sophisticated models and technical approaches to things like UN peacekeeping, AU peace support operations, peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstructions and development. All of this based on a wealth of data, historical lessons learned and official reviews, and the fruits of this are not seen or experienced. These approaches are simply not being employed or deployed effectively due to a lack of political will, compromise, and strategic foresights on the parts of member states. The international order is said to be at a point where powerful countries are increasingly pursuing narrow geostrategic interests outside of the established global rules-based international system. They are increasingly circumventing the system, pursuing unilateral actions, and promoting what we often refer to in the field of international security as a greater sense of pragmatic adhocism. There is also massive underinvestment, both in terms of financial and diplomatic resources, in facilitating ongoing conflict resolution efforts on the part of its member states, be it bilaterally or multilaterally. And consequently, the sustainability and the predictability of international responses to conflict have been a massive and persistent concern for far too long. The greatest challenge confronting Africa, and the international peace and security landscape in general, is the failure of politics amongst state actors. The linkages between conflict stressors and structural drivers and root causes of conflict are evident. The challenge is primarily political in nature. It is imperative for state actors to forge robust and practicable political strategies to facilitate the use of the tools at their disposal. Furthermore, to achieve levels of consensus and compromise, the continued deployment and operation of the various conflict resolution models is necessary. In order to pursue and develop the political solutions necessary to anchor effective conflict resolution mechanisms, the world must remain cognisant of a somewhat uncomfortable truth that states must become more active in dealing with the issues at hand. This must happen at a time when the multilateral, institutional order has become increasingly opaque. Civil society and the international community must adequately reflect on the implications of these issues from a long-term human security perspective. And from an international rules-based perspective. Only once these issues are resolved can there be a significant reinvigoration or renewal of the various multilateral institutions. 8. Introduction to the Global South Perspectives Network and the Global Resilience Council Dr Georgios Kostakos, Executive Director of the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS) The Global South Perspectives Network is a collaborative initiative of the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (Brussels), the Humanitarian Journalism and Media Interventions research group (Sao Paulo), and the Inclusive Society Institute (Cape Town). The Network gathers international affairs, sustainability and communications experts from Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East. The Network recognises that the Global South remains under-represented in the UN. It sees the role of civil society in the UN reform process as imperative and works to promote civil society organisations directly in this process. At present, the participation of non-state actors is dominated by big companies that promote their interests, the underprivileged countries, and the peoples of the South. While civil society should be represented, measures should be taken to ensure that representation is not skewed towards the North, who have big pockets. Structures to properly represent the citizens of the world are imperative. Yet, there is a perception in developing countries and their civil societies that the UN is a western construct. That, like a guest, they can go to the UN agencies and demand official assistance. These states are members and must co-own and co-shape the next phase of global governance. This is the goal and orientation of the Global South Perspectives Network: to have a positive impact, to grow and be consolidated in many ways in different countries, to include respected institutes that have influence over public opinion and can influence governments with positive proposals. This must be done so that the UN will be different and really belong to all the people and all the countries of the world. The idea of the Global Resilience Council is similar to the Security Council but for non-military threats. The establishment of the Council would be to enable the UN to respond to multidimensional crises from the level of self-standing intergovernmental bodies to an inclusive multilateral platform. If set up, the Council would address global non-military threats such as climate, health, and economic crises that find no adequate response at lower levels of governance. It would be created to involve both state and non-state actors, including scientific advisory bodies and the UN system entities. The current infrastructure is inadequate at addressing unfolding crises such as climate change. The Security Council could not simply securitise climate change; it cannot be solved by a 15-member body that is not representative. From countries and regions to individual people, when trade breaks down, when there is disease and no vaccines, the world needs a consolidated place to go. Resilience is central to all these matters and will become more important as poly-crises develop. It will be in the interest of developing countries to support such an inclusive idea. It would have no vetoes, no permanent members that can control it in the manner of the Security Council. Also, it will have a more integrated connection to civil society, science, and even companies and other non-state actors in the process of decision-making and in the process of implementation. The idea of the Council has been put before the secretary general’s Common Agenda report, which is providing the framework for the Summit of the Future consultations. The concept is still developing, but there is hope that the think tanks and their governments will support the initiative. 9. The need for an African Fragility Index Daryl Swanepoel, CEO: Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) decided 18 months ago to develop an African Fragility Index. After developing the first phase of the Index, it was clear that an index that drew mostly from secondary databases would be incomplete and insufficient. When doing country analyses, there were glaring omissions in the data. Matters of fact were not showing up in the data. And the data was not providing sufficient information on actual affairs, such as the manifold military interventions taking place across Africa. The Institute concluded that it would be preferable to deal with and draw from people who were closer to the areas of concern. People that can assist in putting more relevant primary data into the database. The African Fragility Index would be a tool to aid policymakers and political decisionmakers in assessing whether peace and security on the African continent is stagnating, progressing, or regressing. The Index would be developed and published annually. Initially, it will only offer a snapshot of the current state of security affairs, but over time it will prove to be a useful tool that assesses trends on the continent. And in time it will show the progression from one year to the next. It will then be possible to draw deeper insights over time. The Institute is looking for an association of members to last for at least five years, which would allow a similar approach to a set of questions over a period of time. This approach will not only point out the state of affairs in a specific country but also look into specific elements, the variable elements that constitute conflict. According to the measures in place in the Index, conflict is constituted by religious conflict, territorial conflict, civil unrest and civil conflict, political suppression, terrorism, and inequality. The Index would constitute a country-by-country analysis, which will be done via a desktop study and through gathering empirical data by regional policy experts. The ISI invites the other institutes that gathered for the Africa Consultative Meeting to participate in this programme. The intention is to capture a feeling on the ground in each of the African countries, drawn together as a summary report, which analyses the presence of conflict for each of the variables identified. A narrative will then emerge that offers a snapshot of the situation on the ground. From there a panel of three security experts would verify the information and offer a score that would detail the level and degree of, for example, religious conflict. The same will be done for each of the variables. The second step is to have a Likert-type scaling done with five possible scores attached to each. Lastly, there would be a judgement-orientated evaluation with a mitigation strategy to counteract subjectivity. This would be where the three expert evaluators look at and verify the results through verification methods. The process is then expressed in a multi-variant table containing six columns. This allows for the specific variables to be ranked and a narrative drawn out that will substantiate the scores. For this project to be successful, for the Index to take off and become a legitimate resource for policymakers, the Inclusive Society Institute would be looking for collaboration from the institutes present. Ideally, a think tank for each of the five regions present would take responsibility to populate the table. They would be ideally suited as they are close to the ground and, therefore, understand what is happening in the region. In each of the areas, they would guide the process and populate the templates. The policy experts will then go through and verify that information and do the necessary analysis. The various institutes would accordingly co-own the publication and this meeting will become an annual workshop anchored by the African Fragility Index. The different institutes would then be invited annually to attend the workshop in Cape Town, to go through the report and to find consensus before its publication. The report would form the basis for presentations to fora such as the Istanbul Security Forum, which is a new security forum that has been established to look at peace and security through the lens of the developing world rather than the developed world. The Index could potentially also be used to engage other fora, especially the African Union Peace and Security Council. All the preparatory work has been done. It would now be about getting credible data. The institutes that gathered for this meeting are invited to join the programme and play a profound role by populating the data of their neighbouring countries. 10.         Conclusions and recommendations At the conclusion of the meeting, it was resolved that: The participating African think tanks agree to establish the African Academic Consultative Network (Network) to act as an early warning system on matters confronting the African continent; and to drive its collaborative policy and advocacy work; To this end the Network will meet: (1) quarterly and ad hoc when necessary (digitally) to monitor and advise the work of the Network; and (2) in person annually in Cape Town to consolidate and steer its work; The Network will engage and encourage other credible think tanks within their regions and sphere of influence to join the collaboration established at the inaugural Africa Consultative Meeting; The Network will develop a synthesised report from the deliberations at its Consultative Meeting that discusses its individual positions and on strengthening Africa-China relations, which should advance mutually beneficial development between the two sides in parallel to those with their existing and traditional, and other, cooperation and trading partners; and To this end, they would approach the Institute for African Studies at the Zhejiang Normal University to partner and work with the Network in advancing dialogue and policy development to promote such mutually beneficial development; The convening institutions be mandated to seek additional international fora for consideration by the participating organisations to engage with, to advance the African development within a more just, sustainable, and fairer world; Participants will also seek participation in the Global South Perspectives Network as a means to be involved in the discourse aimed at promoting an inclusive, more effective and fairer multilateral dispensation in which Africa is more equitably and justly represented; Peace and security on the African continent are worryingly volatile, requiring a more focussed, sustained, holistic strategy to reduce the fragility of the continent; and To this end the participating organisations will collaborate in research and advocacy aimed at addressing the peace and security deficit on the continent. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. Email: info@inclusivesociety.org.za Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589 Web: www.inclusivesociety.org.za

  • How to fund democracy

    On the 8th of May 2024, Daryl Swanepoel, the CEO of the Inclusive Society Institute, spoke at an event hosted by the non-profit organization My Vote Counts. The event, titled "Democracy: Creating Accountable and Transparent Politics," brought together influential figures from across South African civil society to engage in a critical dialogue about the role of political funding in the country's electoral process. Swanepoel shed light on the pressing issues surrounding transparency and accountability in South African politics, drawing on his extensive expertise and experience in navigating the complex web of political financing. With a keen understanding of the challenges facing South African democracy, Swanepoel delved into the importance of establishing robust systems that ensure the integrity of the electoral system. He highlighted the need for stricter regulations and enhanced disclosure requirements, emphasizing that the public deserves to know the sources and allocation of funds that shape the political landscape. Swanepoel underscored the critical linkage between transparent political financing and the fundamental principles of a healthy democracy, where citizens can make informed decisions and hold their representatives accountable. He also emphasized the need for sufficient public funding, saying that international best practice shows that where there are high disclosure requirements, there tend to be higher public funding, and where there are lower disclosure requirements, there tend to be lower public funding. In South Africa, disclosure requirements were mad stricter, without concomitantly increasing public funding. Click here to read the speech by Daryl Swanepoel - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • Analysis of Constitutional issues pertaining to the Electoral Amendment Bill

    Copyright © 2022 Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8010 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute. DISCLAIMER Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or those of their respective Board or Council members. 13 SEPTEMBER 2022 Prof Geo Quinot Department of Public Law, Stellenbosch University 1. In New Nation Movement NPC v President of the Republic of South Africa [2020] ZACC 11, (“New Nation Movement”), the Constitutional Court held that the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 (“the Act”) was unconstitutional to the extent that it did not provide for individuals to contest elections for membership of the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures independently from political parties. The Court suspended the declaration of invalidity for 24 months to allow Parliament to remedy the defect (the Court subsequently extended the suspension until 10 December 2022). 2. In response to New Nation Movement, Parliament is currently considering the Electoral Amendment Bill (B1-2022) as the means to cure the defects in the Act. On 2 September 2022, the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs called for further public comments on material revisions of the Bill (B1A-2022) (“the Bill”). 3. Several civil society organisations, including the Inclusive Society Institute, have raised concerns regarding the constitutionality of the Bill. This analysis is aimed at considering various aspects of the Bill, in the form put forward for public comment on 2 September 2022, from a constitutional perspective, focusing specifically on those aspects that may be constitutionally suspect. BARRIERS TO ENTRY 4. Section 31B of the Bill sets out the requirements for an independent candidate to contest elections. These include, in section 31B(3)(a), the requirement of nomination requiring an independent candidate to submit “the names, identity numbers and signatures of voters whose names appear on the segment of the voters’ roll for that region or province in which the candidate is standing for election and who support his or her candidature, totalling at least thirty percent of the quota for a seat that was required for a seat in the previous comparable election”. This requirement is analogous to (but not the same as) the requirement in the Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996, section 15(3), read with section 26 of the Act. In terms of the latter, a party may only contest elections if it is registered as set out in section 15 of the Electoral Commission Act. This includes a requirement, in section 15(3)(a), that the application for registration be accompanied by “that party’s deed of foundation which … has been signed by the prescribed number of persons who are qualified voters”. 5. The Act and the Bill thus place a limitation on both independent candidates and parties to contest elections in the form of proof of support by a set number of voters. There are, however, important differences between this support limitation as applied to independent candidates and parties respectively. 5.1. In the case of independent candidates, such limitation on contesting elections is more direct in that a party only has to submit such proof of support once when registering as a party and not in each instance that it wishes to contest elections, whereas an independent candidate must submit such proof each and every time they intend to contest an election, regardless of whether the candidate has previously been elected to a seat in the chamber to which the election pertains. 5.2. There is a material difference in the number of voters that must indicate support for independent candidates and parties respectively. In terms of the Regulations for the Registration of Political Parties (GNR.13 of 7 January 2004, as amended), promulgated under the Electoral Commission Act, regulation 3, a party must submit a list of 1000 signatures for registration nationally, 500 signatures for registration in a particular province and 300 signatures for registration in a particular district or metropolitan municipality. In contrast, the Bill sets the number of signatures required by an independent candidate at 30% of the quota for a seat that was required for a seat in the previous comparable election, regardless of what chamber the candidate is contesting for. The exact number of signatures required by independent candidates will thus differ from time to time and between chambers, but will in most instances be significantly more than the set numbers required for parties. For example, in the 2019 national elections, the number of votes required to secure a seat in the National Assembly was approximately between 30 000 and 40 000. On a very basic calculation, this implies that, on the approach adopted in the Bill, an independent candidate will require upwards of 10 000 signatures in support to contest an election for the National Assembly. There is thus more than a tenfold difference in the support requirement as applied to parties and independent candidates respectively. 6. The support limitation raises multiple constitutional concerns. 6.1. Firstly, the limitation imposed by the support requirement is questionable in light of the Constitutional Court’s remarks in New Nation Movement regarding the wording of section 19(3)(b) of the Constitution. The Court interpreted the section as conferring a right on individuals to stand for public office, only limited by the requirement that such individuals must be adults and South African citizens. That is, any additional limitations on an adult citizen to stand for public office, would fall foul of section 19(3)(b) and will only be justifiable in terms of section 36 of the Constitution. Throughout his majority judgment in New Nation Movement, Jafta J emphasises the lack of further limitations on the section 19(3)(b) right, for example: “[154] The drafters of our Constitution were quite alive to the fact that one cannot vote unless there is someone she can vote for. In their wisdom they added to the mix the right to contest elections and the right to hold office. The latter right depends on winning the election contest. However, it is significant to note that in plain language, section 19(3) reserves the right to stand for public office which entails contesting elections for adult South Africans. It is them only, who are entitled to be voted into public office. And the words “every adult citizen” at the opening of section 19(3) demonstrate that each adult South African is the bearer of the right to stand for public office and if elected, to hold the office she stood for. This construction is consistent with the language of the provision, which is framed in inclusive terms to prevent the exclusion of some South Africans from exercising those rights as it happened during the apartheid era. This interpretation is also in alignment with international law. It will be recalled that the ICCPR provides that every citizen shall have the right to vote and be elected by secret ballot” (emphasis added). “[158] … Section 19(3)(b) entitles every adult South African who wishes to do so, to contest elections and if elected to hold public office.” “[160] … In unequivocal terms, section 19(3)(b) confers upon every adult South African the right ‘to stand for public office and, if elected, to hold office’. Whilst Parliament has the power to pass legislation that regulates the exercise of the right, it cannot enact legislation that prevents the exercise of the right.” “[171] … Without contesting elections, it is impossible for any adult citizen to exercise the right to stand for and hold public office if elected.” There can be little doubt that the support requirement for contesting elections imposes a significant limitation on adult citizen’s right under section 19(3)(b), which reminds one starkly of limitations of a bygone era, such as property-holding criteria that were still prevalent during the earlier parts of the previous century. 6.2. The second problem with the support requirement is the differentiated manner in which it is applied to parties compared to independent candidates. This differentiation, as noted in para 5 above, lies both in the repeated nature of the requirement resting on independent candidates versus the once-off requirement for parties and the material difference in the number of signatures required. This differentiation can be viewed as denying independent candidates equal enjoyment of the political rights in section 19 of the Constitution. Since the choice to contest an election, i.e. exercise the section 19(3)(b) right, as an independent candidate, rather than through a political party, is closely linked to freedom of association in section 18 and freedom of conscience in section 15 of the Constitution as well as a person’s dignity, as set out by Madlanga J in his majority judgment in New Nation Movement, the differentiation imposed by the support requirement can be viewed as unfair discrimination under section 9 of the Constitution given that the grounds of differentiation are conscience, which is a listed ground in section 9(3) causing differentiation on that ground to be presumed unfair discrimination, political association and that the differentiation impedes a person’s dignity. The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000 supports the latter point in that it defines discrimination as “any act … including a … law, rule, practice, condition … which … imposes burdens … on, or withholds benefits, opportunities or advantages from any person on one or more of the prohibited grounds” and defines “prohibited grounds” as including any “ground … where discrimination based on that … ground … undermines human dignity”. 7. In its current form in the Bill, it is highly questionable whether the requirement that independent candidates must submit a list of signatures from voters equalling 30% of the quota required to fill the contested seat in the previous election, prior to them being allowed to contest the election, will pass constitutional muster. 8. It is proposed that the provision in section 31B(3)(a) pertaining to the list of signatures to be submitted by independent candidates, either be, 8.1. removed in its entirety; or 8.2. replaced by a requirement identical to that placed on political parties in section 15(3)(a) of the Electoral Commission Act, read with regulation 3 of the Regulations for the Registration of Political Parties (GNR.13 of 7 January 2004, as amended), namely that an independent candidate should only be required to submit a list of supporting voter signatures once and in the same number as that applied to parties. ALLOCATION OF SEATS 9. Schedule 1A in the Bill sets out how seats will be allocated to independent candidates and parties contesting elections for the National Assembly respectively. A fundamental difference between independent candidates and parties in the way that National Assembly seats are allocated is that independent candidates only compete for half of the seats (so-called “regional seats”). A region, in effect, refers to a province. Political parties, in contrast, compete for regional seats as well as the other half of the seats (so-called “compensatory seats”). Compensatory seats are thus filled exclusively by political parties. Parties must submit fixed lists of nominated candidates for both regional and compensatory seats. A candidate may be nominated by a political party on both regional and compensatory seat lists, but the combined total of candidates on the regional and compensatory seat lists may not exceed the total number of seats. 10. Another material difference between allocation of seats to parties and independent candidates relates to calculation of votes across regions (provinces). An independent candidate can only win a seat within a particular region/province, based on the total number of votes cast in favour of that candidate within that region/province. Any votes cast for the candidate in another region/province is in effect forfeited by that candidate. That is, such votes are not taken into account in determining whether the candidate is allocated a seat. In contrast, when the total number of seats allocated to a political party is calculated, the aggregate of all votes cast for that party across all regions/provinces is used to determine the party’s total number of allocated seats, in the form of the combined regional and compensatory seats. Political parties thus benefit from votes cast across regions/provinces, whereas independent candidates do not. 11. Viewed from an individual candidate’s perspective, there is accordingly a material difference between the exercise of their section 19(3)(b) right based on whether they contest the election as an independent candidate rather than a nominee of a political party. That is, the right to hold office, if elected, differs in content materially in a given election between independent and party nominated candidates. That difference lies in the content of the phrase ‘if elected’ as set out in the Bill and discussed in paras 9 and 10 above. Simply put, the number of votes required to be elected differs materially between the two categories of candidates. 12. While viewed separately, it can probably be argued that the manner of allocating seats to independent candidates and political parties respectively in the Bill will not fall foul of section 19(3)(b) of the Constitution, the differentiation between the two categories raises constitutional concerns. Along the same lines as argued in para 6.2 above in respect of the support requirement, the differentiation between types of candidates in how seats are allocated will quite likely fall foul of section 9 of the Constitution. An aggravating factor is the fact that the Bill does not adopt a similar approach in the allocation of seats in provincial legislatures. For those seats, the different types of candidates are treated the same in the allocation calculation. That raises serious doubts as to the justifiability of the differentiation in allocating seats in the National Assembly. 13. It is recommended that the division of National Assembly seats in regional seats and compensatory seats be removed from the Bill and that the allocation of all seats in the National Assembly be done on an equal basis between independent candidates and political parties, along the same lines as that for provincial legislatures. 14. The combined effect of the proposed rules in the Bill that an independent candidate may contest an election for a seat in the National Assembly in more than one region, but may not aggregate the votes received across regions in order to be allocated a seat, calls into question whether the system created in the Bill amounts to an electoral system that “results, in general, in proportional representation” as required by section 46(1)(d) of the Constitution. The effect of these two rules in the Bill, read together, is that there may be significant distortion between the votes cast nationally and the allocation of seats. The representation in the National Assembly may thus not be, in general, proportional to the votes cast, given the potentially large number of votes that are discarded in the process of seat allocation. 15. This problem may be addressed by either restricting the participation of independent candidates to one region, as is the case for party nominated candidates, or allowing independent candidates to aggregate votes across regions in the allocation of seats. END - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. Email: info@inclusivesociety.org.za Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589 Web: www.inclusivesociety.org.za

  • Is South Africa's democracy properly funded? (continued)

    Click here to go back Chapter 5: Findings This Chapter is dedicated to the findings of the interviews conducted with party-funding experts from political parties, party-aligned foundations and/or electoral commissions in the countries evaluated in this study. The findings are in relation to the answers provided to the questions posed in terms of the questionnaire as outlined in the preceding Chapter, which is aimed at gaining an understanding of the various dimensions of party funding in said jurisdictions. 5.1 The public party-funding regime of Germany Party funding from the public purse in Germany has two dimensions. On the one hand, public funds are transferred directly to parties, be it to the party entities themselves or to support their representatives in the legislatures. On the other hand, significant public funds are transferred to party-aligned foundations. 5.1.1 Public funding of German political parties 5.1.1.1 Restrictions of private donations to political parties Whilst there is no upper limit as to what an individual or entity may donate to a political party, the donation has to be declared to the President of the Bundestag if it exceeds €50,000 in a particular year, and if it exceeds €10,000 in a particular year, it needs to be published in the party’s financial statements (Nietan, 2022). The limits are aggregated from across the whole country, all levels of government and all structures of the party (Öhm, 2022). That said, there are a number of legal restrictions conclusively articulated in Article 25 of the Political Parties Act. The restrictions are that: Donations of more than €1,000 in cash may not be accepted. The acceptance of donations from political foundations, corporations, associations of persons and estates which, according to the statutes, the foundation business or the other constitution and according to the actual management, exclusively and directly serve charitable, benevolent or ecclesiastical purposes (sections 51 to 68 of the Tax Code) is inadmissible. Excluded from the right of political parties to accept donations are also donations from parliamentary parties and groups and from parliamentary groups of municipal councils (local assemblies). The acceptance of donations from outside the area of application of this law, that is, outside the Federal Republic, is also inadmissible unless: the donations are from the assets of a German within the meaning of the Basic Law, of a citizen of the European Union or of a business enterprise, of which more than 50 per cent of the shares are owned by Germans within the meaning of the Basic Law, or by a citizen of the European Union, or whose head office is in a member state of the European Union the donation is from a person from national minorities in their ancestral homeland, which are made to them from states bordering the Federal Republic of Germany and in which members of their ethnicity live the donation made by a foreigner does not exceed €1,000. (Nietan, 2022) Furthermore, donations from the following sources are inadmissible: Donations made to professional associations with the understanding that they will be passed on to a political party Donations from companies that are wholly or partly owned, managed or operated by the public sector, if the direct participation of the public sector exceeds 25 per cent Individual donations exceeding €500 where the donors cannot be identified, or if it is recognisable that the donation is being forwarded from an unnamed third party Donations granted to the party in expectation of, or in return for, a certain economic or political advantage Donations raised by a third party in return for a fee to be paid by the party which exceeds 25 per cent of the value of the raised donation. (Nietan, 2022) 5.1.1.2 The various forms of public funding that German parties are entitled to Direct party funding The party is entitled to partial state funding. This is governed by Article 18, Part G. According to this provision, parties receive funds as partial financing of the activities generally incumbent upon them under the Basic Law. The benchmarks for the distribution of state funds are the success a party achieves with voters in European, federal (Bundestag) and state (Landtag) elections, the total amount of its membership dues and mandate holder contributions, and the volume of donations from individuals it received. In 2020, all parties together received a total amount of €197,482,200 (Nietan, 2022). Directly to elected representatives in addition to salaries The elected representative, for example, a member of the Bundestag, is entitled to "compensation”. This is governed by Section 48(3) of the Law on the Legal Relationships of Members of the German Bundestag (Members of Parliament – AbgG). According to this, members of Parliament are entitled to appropriate compensation that guarantees their independence. The amount of the compensation must correspond to the significance of the MP's special office and the responsibility and burden associated with it. In addition, it must also take into account the rank accorded to the mandate in the constitutional structure (Nietan, 2022). The compensation paid to members of Parliament amounts to €10,323.29 per month. A tax-free expense allowance is added to the compensation as part of the so-called official allowance. This lump sum is adjusted annually on 1 January to the cost of living and is currently €4,583.39 per month. They can also claim business travel expenses as well as associated expenses (Nietan, 2022). Furthermore, members of the Bundestag receive employee allowances amounting to €23,205 per month (Nietan, 2022). In 2020, all members of the Bundestag together received a total amount of €475,026,000, inclusive of their salaries and personal allowances. The amount in addition to their salaries and allowances – that is, the allowance to enable them to employ staff to assist them – amounted to €166,519,080 for 2022. This is calculated by taking the number of members of Parliament, which is currently 598 (Deutscher Bundestag, N.d.), multiplied by the monthly allowance (€23,205), multiplied by twelve to calculate the annual total. To the parliamentary groups in the Parliament The parliamentary groups in Parliament are entitled to cash and non-cash benefits. This is governed by Section 50 of the Parliamentary Groups Act (AbgG). According to this Act, parliamentary groups are entitled to cash and non-cash benefits from the federal budget in order to fulfil their duties. The specific amount of money made available for the financing of parliamentary groups in the federal budget thus results exclusively from the federal budget. In 2020, all parliamentary groups in the Bundestag together received a total amount of €119,369,000 (Nietan, 2022). Reimbursement for election expenses There is no direct claim for reimbursement of election expenses (Nietan, 2022). Other public funding Apart from partial state funding according to Section 18 of Part G, parties are generally not directly entitled to other forms of public funding (Nietan, 2022). 5.1.1.3 Incentives to encourage individuals/corporates to make donations to political parties In terms of Article 34(g) of the Income Tax Act, donations to political parties are deductible from taxable income up to a total of €3,300 for singles, and up to €6,600 for married couples (Nietan, 2022). Furthermore, individuals may deduct fifty percent of their party membership contributions from their taxable income (Öhm, 2022). 5.1.1.4 Indirect public funding During election campaigns, political parties may run election advertising on public television and radio, free of charge. Private stations may only charge parties at cost price (Nietan, 2022). In terms of Section 68 of the Interstate Media Treaty, parties must be granted appropriate broadcasting time during elections for the German Bundestag. In return, they are reimbursed for their prime costs when at least one state list has been approved for them. Furthermore, parties and other political associations shall be entitled to appropriate broadcasting time during their participation in the elections of members from the Federal Republic of Germany for the European Parliament, in return for reimbursement of the cost price, if at least one election proposal has been approved for them (Nietan, 2022). Section 11 of the Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) State Treaty (ZDF-StV) stipulates that parties may run election advertising free of charge on the stations of ZDF during election campaigns. The same is regulated for the stations of the First German Television (ARD) in the state broadcasting laws (Nietan, 2022). It is difficult to objectively determine the value of such free and subsidised media (Nietan, 2022). 5.1.1.5 Private versus public funding of political parties ratio According to Nietan (2022), private funding, which includes membership fees and contributions from trade unions, forms the bulk of the parties’ funding, but public funding is also a significant portion of funding for the parties. 5.1.1.6 Quantifiable public funding to support political parties The public funding for the political parties at a national level in Germany for 2022 amounted to at least €483,4 million, made up as follows: (Nietan, 2022) The above calculation is conservative, in that, in addition to the aforementioned, needs to be added the indirect support to parties, for example, the free and subsidised media advertising during campaigns, which is significant, but difficult to objectively estimate. 5.1.2 Funding to party-aligned political foundations In addition to the public funding of political parties, the democratic dispensation of Germany is strengthened through the public funding of party-aligned political foundations. The purpose of the funding is to promote the development of plurality of political participation in the democratic dispensation (Öhm, 2022). At the federal level, each party that has been represented in the Bundestag for at least two periods, is entitled to nominate a political foundation to receive public funding, which is determined and administered by the Bundestag. It forms part of the national budget and appears as line items in various ministries. Funds are allocated to the various foundations on the basis of the proportional strength in the Bundestag of their ideologically aligned political parties. The core funding of the politically aligned foundations is included in the budget of the Ministry of the Interior, whilst further project funding is included in the budgets of the Ministries of Economic Cooperation and Development, Education and Research, and Foreign Affairs (Öhm, 2022). Political foundations may use the funding for: Civic education Scholarships Hosting of party archives Research International cooperation Whilst the use of the funds is quite flexible, it must fit within the parameters of the Bundestag’s special provisions for the funding of political foundations and may not be used for party campaigning. Furthermore, whilst political representatives may not participate in their political party capacity, they may do so as experts in the activities of the foundations, but they need to maintain a strict arm’s length three months prior to an election, during which period they may not cooperate with political parties in any form or manner. Furthermore, they may not directly fund any foreign political party or trade union (Öhm, 2022). That said, there are significant benefits for political parties and the democratic dispensation as a whole. Parties benefit in that the foundations serve as think-tanks that develop ideas, policies and legislative proposals from their own ideological point of view, provide civic education and training in which party members and public representatives may participate as active citizens, and they create ideology-linked international networks, all of which would have fallen to the parties in the absence of such foundations. And as already stated, the democratic dispensation is strengthened through the promotion of democratic pluralism (Öhm, 2022). The public funding for the political foundations in Germany for 2022 amounted to €451 million, made up as follows: *Conservative estimate. Allocation is in fact higher, but also includes allocations to non-political organisations. (Öhm, 2022) 5.1.3 Germany–South Africa Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) 5.1.3.1 PPP in relation to direct public funding to political parties The equivalent purchasing power of €483,400,000 allocated to the German political parties at a USD 2021 PPP factor of 0.741488 (OECD, N.d.) equates to USD 651,932,331. In turn, at a USD:ZAR 2021 purchasing power parity factor of 7.168097 (OECD, N.d.) it equates to R4,673,114,184. (Allocation in German euro ÷ DEU:USD PPP factor) x USD:ZAR PPP factor That is: (€483,400,000 ÷ 0.741488) x 7.168097 651,932,331 x 7.168097 = ZAR 4,673,114,184 5.1.3.2 PPP in relation to funding to politically aligned foundations The equivalent purchasing power of €451 million allocated to the German political party aligned foundations at a USD 2021 PPP factor of 0.741488 equates to USD 608,236,411. In turn, at a USD:ZAR 2021 purchasing power parity factor of 7.168097 (OECD, N.d.) it equates to R4,359,897,594. (Allocation in German euro ÷ DEU:USD PPP factor) x USD:ZAR PPP factor That is: (€451,000,000 ÷ 0.741488) x 7.168097 608,236,411 x 7.168097 = ZAR 4,359,897,594 5.1.3.3 PPP in relation to the funding of the German party-political dispensation as a whole The combined value of public funds allocated directly to political parties and to politically aligned foundations in Germany currently amounts to €934,4 million per annum. At South African PPP, it amounts to around R9,033,011,778. 5.1.3.4 Public annual-spend per person on political parties and foundations Given that the German population older than 15 years – the age at which political awareness starts manifesting – as of 2021 was around 72,390,000 million people, (Statista, 2022b), it means that the public purse funds political parties at the national level and their politically aligned foundations to an amount of around R125 per person per annum. That is around R65 per person to the political parties and around R60 per person per annum to the political foundations. These figures are derived through the simple calculation of dividing the total spends from the public purse at South African PPP by the total population of Germany. 5.2 The public party-funding regime of Sweden Party funding in Sweden also has two dimensions. The first being funding directly to the party, and the second to party-aligned foundations. 5.2.1 Public funding of Swedish political parties 5.2.1.1 Restrictions of donations to political parties There are no restrictions on private funding to political parties in Sweden, except for the fact that donations may not be made anonymously. Any donation to a political party needs to be declared and the party, in turn, has to declare such donation to the authorities (Jonsson, 2022). 5.2.1.2 The various forms of public funding that Swedish political parties are entitled to In terms of public funding, all monies go directly to the party, either to the party headquarters or to the party groups within the Parliament. The total amount of this direct public funding contribution to the political parties in Sweden amounts to around SEK 400 million (Jonsson, 2022). In terms of determining the allocations to the various parties, around twenty-five percent of the total allocation is allocated equally to the parties represented in the national Parliament, whilst the remaining seventy-five percent is allocated proportionally based on the parties’ percentage share of the total number of MPs in the national Parliament (Jonsson, 2022). No public funding is made available to Members of Parliament (MPs) to, for example, assist them in running constituency offices, or to support their constituency work. The rationale for this, is that in Sweden voters vote for parties on a proportional representation basis and not on a constituency basis. Of course, parties are free to make allocations to MPs to set up offices and organise constituency activities. In such event, however, the allocation is made out of the party resources and does not constitute an additional allocation from the state (Jonsson, 2022). The only other source of public funding to the political parties is a limited contribution towards defraying election expenses, which elections are normally held every four years. In total, this amounts to around only SEK10 million (Jonsson, 2022). The Swedish public funding of political parties is therefore a very simple system, which they consider important to ensure transparency as to the amount of public funds being channelled to political parties. Since there is a single identifiable source, there is no ambiguity or need to research and compile a list of contributions from a multitude of state entities (Jonsson, 2022). 5.2.1.3 Incentives to encourage individuals/corporations to make donations to political parties Entities making donations to political parties in Sweden may, in terms of the party-funding legislation, make the donations without being subjected to paying donations tax. On the flipside, political parties need also not pay donations tax on donations received from any entity (Jonsson, 2022). 5.2.1.4 Indirect public funding Given the simplicity of the Swedish public funding system, there are no sources of indirect public funding. For example, no free time is given on the public broadcaster platforms. If parties wish to advertise, they will pay normal commercial rates. This does, however, not preclude broadcasters to host normal actuality and news programmes in which political parties are free to participate (Jonsson, 2022). 5.2.1.5 Private funding versus public funding of political parties ratio Generally speaking, ninety percent of party funding comprises public funding, and only ten percent comprises private funding. There are two exceptions, namely the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Centre Party. The SDP receives considerable funding from dividends they receive from companies that they own, including a major lottery company. And the Centre Party receives income from their capital investments. Some years ago, they sold newspaper companies that they owned, from which sale they generated considerable income, which they converted into capital investments (Jonsson, 2022). The SDP receives around twenty-nine percent of their income from their company investments and around only one percent from private individuals and/or entities, and seventy percent from public funding. The Centre Party also receives around seventy percent from public funding and around thirty percent from their capital investments (Jonsson, 2022). The SDP also receives some contributions from the trade unions, which in the last year amounted to some SEK 8 million (Jonsson, 2022). Thus, in summary, the bulk of party funding to political parties in Sweden is public funding, without which, parties would not be able to function effectively. 5.2.1.6 Quantifiable funding to support political parties The public funding for the political parties at a national level in Sweden for 2022 amounted to at least SEK 400 million. In addition to the aforementioned, is a limited amount of around SEK 10 million as a contribution towards off-setting election expenses, held every four years. Thus, over a four-year period it would amount to around SEK 2,5 million. For the purposes of this study, given the limited nature of the income, it is not taken into consideration when undertaking the comparative study. 5.2.2 Funding to party-aligned political foundations As in Germany, Sweden also has politically aligned foundations. But in contrast to the German foundations, who have both a domestic and international focus, in Sweden they are tasked with mainly international solidarity and advocacy. They play a very limited role in Swedish politics and policy development. They work globally for democracy, human rights, peace and social justice, and support sister parties and organisations in official development assistance (ODA) countries (Sundström, 2022). Unlike Germany, there is no annual funding mechanism for the foundations. The Swedish foundations apply to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for project funding and for the funding of communication activities (Sundström, 2022). 5.2.2.1 Quantifiable funding to support political foundations Whilst funding varies from year to year, the total amount of funding is in the region of SEK 100 million (Sundström, 2022). 5.2.3 Sweden–South Africa Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) 5.2.3.1 PPP in relation to direct public funding to political parties The equivalent purchasing power of SEK 400 million allocated to the Swedish political parties at a USD 2021 PPP factor of 8.708853 (OECD, N.d.) equates to USD 45,930,273. In turn, at a USD:ZAR 2021 purchasing power parity factor of 7.168097 (OECD, N.d.) it equates to R329,232,656. (Allocation in Swedish krona ÷ SEK:USD PPP factor) x USD:ZAR PPP factor That is: (SEK 400,000,000 ÷ 8.708853) x 7.168097 45,930,273 x 7.168097 = ZAR 329,232,656 5.2.3.2 PPP in relation to funding to politically aligned foundations The equivalent purchasing power of SEK 100 million allocated to the Swedish political party aligned foundations at a USD 2021 PPP factor of 8.708853 equates to USD 11,482,568. In turn, at a USD:ZAR 2021 purchasing power parity factor of 7.168097 (OECD, N.d.) it equates to R82,308,164. (Allocation in Swedish krona ÷ SEK:USD PPP factor) x USD:ZAR PPP factor That is: (SEK 100,000,000 ÷ 8.708853) x 7.168097 11,482,568 x 7.168097 = ZAR 82,308,164 5.2.3.3 PPP in relation to the funding of the Swedish party-political dispensation as a whole The combined value of public funds allocated directly to political parties and to politically aligned foundations in Sweden currently amounts to SEK 500 million per annum. At South African PPP it amounts to around R411,540,820. 5.2.3.4 Public annual-spend per person on political parties and foundations Given that the Swedish population as of 2021 was 10,517,669 (Statista, 2022c), of which 8,589,000 are older than fifteen (Statista, 2022c), it means that the public purse funds political parties at the national level and their politically aligned foundations to an amount of around R48 per person per annum. That is, around R38 per person to the political parties and around R10 per person per annum to the political foundations. These figures are derived through the simple calculation of dividing the total spends from the public purse at South African PPP by the total population of Sweden. 5.3 The public party-funding regime of the Netherlands 5.3.1 Public funding of Swedish political parties 5.3.1.1 Restrictions of donations to political parties A new law called the “Financing of Political Parties Act” processed by the Ministry of the Interior came into effect on 1 January 2023. The new law has stricter provisions in terms of transparency measures but will not impact the quantum of public funding to the political parties materially (Bartelsman, 2022). In the Netherlands system there is a lot of focus on transparency. Any private donation exceeding €4,500 has to be registered with the Kiesraad. As from 1 January 2023 this has been reduced to €1000. The Kiesraad then publish the list of donations annually online. For natural persons the name and city and amount are published, but for entities the name of the entity, the full address and amount is published (Bartelsman, 2022). There is a limit with regard to anonymous donations. Currently, no anonymous donation exceeding €1,000 may be accepted. Should an anonymous donation be received that exceeds €1000, the amount exceeding €1000 has to be transferred by the party to the Ministry of the Interior. This has been reduced to €250 as from 1 January 2023 (Bartelsman, 2022). With effect from 1 January 2023, the upper threshold limit for donations from any person or entity is €100,000 per annum (Bartelsman, 2022). Any donation above €10,000 has to be registered with the Ministry of the Interior within three working days of its receipt (Bartelsman, 2022). And as from 1 January 2023 no donation may be received from outside of the Netherlands, except from Dutch citizens living abroad. In other words, only Dutch citizens and/or entities may make donations to the political parties registered in the Netherlands (Bartelsman, 2022). 5.3.1.2 The various forms of public funding that the Netherlands political parties are entitled to An annual subsidy, adjusted annually for inflation, is made available to political parties that have at least one member elected to either the Upper or Lower House of Parliament; and the party needs to have a registered party membership of at least 1000. The quantum per party is determined based on three criteria: There is a base amount that is divided equally between qualifying parties. The current basic grant is €316,823 per annum per party, with one or more seats in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. An additional amount is divided pro rata amongst the parties based on the number of representatives in Parliament. They receive €93,574 per annum per seat that a political party has. And yet a further amount that is divided pro rata based on the number of registered party members – “For each member a political party has, they receive an amount that equals €3,412,190 divided by the total number of members of all parties”. With the new law that has come into effect in January 2023, the aforementioned amounts have been reduced to €263,823 for the basic grant, €80,694 per seat and €2,966,317 for the membership subsidy (Bartelsman, 2022). The total quantum of the subsidy, inclusive of the core funding and the funding to the institutes/youth formations, currently amounts to €27,646,000 million per annum in total (Bartelsman, 2022). The aforementioned funding is paid over directly to the political parties. In addition, there is funding made available to the groups within Parliament, for which an amount of €41,649,000 is set aside by the Parliament. This is intended to fund the work of the parties’ elected representatives to carry out their parliamentary duties in Parliament (Bartelsman, 2022). There are no election spending caps for political parties in the Netherlands (Bartelsman, 2022). 5.3.1.3 Incentives to encourage individuals/corporations to make donations to political parties There are incentives made available to individuals and entities, provided that the parties are registered as public benefit foundations. Parties are free to decide if they want this status or not. In such case, donations may be deducted from one’s income taxes (Bartelsman, 2022). 5.3.1.4 Indirect public funding Free advertising slots are made available on the public broadcasters, not only during election periods, but throughout the political parties’ term of office. The number of slots is divided equally amongst all parties, but the order of running the adverts is determined through the drawing of lots (Bartelsman, 2022). The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science decides on what the total amount of hours to be dedicated for these purposes will be. Additional hours are made available during election campaigns for the House of Representatives and the European Union. For 2022, 53 hours and 50 minutes were made available for radio broadcasts and 12 hours and 45 minutes for television broadcasts. In addition to the 12 hours and 45 minutes on television, there is a further 12 hours and 45 minutes set aside for recurring broadcasts. During elections, each participating party is assigned 20 minutes of radio broadcasts and 18 minutes of television broadcasts. There is no reimbursement for election expenses (Bartelsman, 2022). 5.3.1.5 Private funding versus public funding of political parties ratio The exact split is not readily available, but in a 2014 exercise conducted by the Kiesraad to determine the dependency of political parties on public funding, the ratio was found to be around 35:65 percent public to private funding. This has changed over time. It is now estimated that the ratio is around 50:50, and with the rules becoming more stringent, it is anticipated that the parties will trend towards a higher reliance on public funding (Bartelsman, 2022). 5.3.1.6 Quantifiable funding to support political parties The public funding for the political parties at a national level in the Netherlands for 2022 amounted to at least €69,295 million, made up as follows: 5.3.2 Public funding to political foundations The Netherlands believe that in a democracy it is important for political parties to gain new members (through their youth organisations), and to develop their policies (through their political science institutes). It is also deemed important, due to globalisation, to maintain and build connections with likeminded political parties in other countries. Thus, public funds are allocated to institutes established by the parties for these purposes (Bartelsman, 2022). The political party itself submits a request for public funding to the Democracy Department of the Ministry of the Interior. As part of their application, they would have to indicate whether or not they have a youth organisation, political science institute and/or an institute for international activities. Should they fulfil the admissibility criteria for these institutions, the money will be given to the political party itself, which then has to give it to respective institutions. This money cannot be used by the political party for other means. These funds are included in the €27,646,000 alluded to in paragraph 5.3.1.2. above. The following amounts are currently allocated: Each party with a political science institute receives a basic grant of €136,262 and an additional amount of €14,006 per seat. Each party with a youth organisation receives an amount per seat that equals €546,224 divided by the total number of seats of the parties with a youth organisation. They also receive an amount for each member of the youth organisation that equals €546,224 divided by the total amount of members of youth organisations. But a youth organisation needs to have at least 100 members between the ages of 14 and 27 years who pay a yearly contribution. Each party with an institute for international activities receives an amount that equals €698,628 divided by the total number of parties that have an institute for international activities. Additionally, they receive an amount per seat that equals €1,005,343 divided by the total number of seats of political parties with an institute for international activities. As from January 2023, the new division is: Youth organisations will receive a basic grant of €214,344 divided by the number of youth organisations. They will receive an amount per seat that equals €696,618 divided by the total number of seats of political parties with a youth organisation. For each member, the youth organisations receive an amount that equals €160,758 divided by the total number of members of the youth organisations. For the political science institutes the basic grant will change to €195,849, and the amount per seat will change to €20,372. (Bartelsman, 2022) 5.3.3 The Netherlands–South Africa Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) 5.3.3.1 PPP in relation to direct public funding to political parties The equivalent purchasing power of €69,295,000 allocated to the Netherlands political parties at a USD 2021 PPP factor of 0.770 (OECD, N.d.) equates to USD 89,993,506. In turn, at a USD:ZAR 2021 purchasing power parity factor of 7.168097 (OECD, N.d.) it equates to R645,082,184. (Allocation in euro ÷ Netherlands euro:USD PPP factor) x USD:ZAR PPP factor That is: (€69,295,000 ÷ 0.770) x 7.168097 89,993,506 x 7.168097 = ZAR 645,082,184 5.3.3.2 Public annual-spend per person on political parties and foundations Given that the Netherlands population as of 2021 was 17,48 million (Statista, 2022d), of which 84,45 percent – that is, 14,761,860 – are older than fifteen (Statista, 2022d), it means that the public purse funds political parties at the national level and their politically aligned foundations to an amount of around R43,70 per person per annum. 5.4 The public party-funding regime of South Africa Party funding to political parties in South Africa is made via the Independent Electoral Commission and from the budget of Parliament. There is no public funding made available to party-aligned political foundations. 5.4.1 Public funding of South African political parties The restrictions and conditions attached to both private and public funding to political parties in South Africa has been fully covered in the Legislative Review (Chapter 3) of this paper. In terms of the public funding, all monies go directly to the party, either to the party headquarters via the Independent Electoral Commission or to the party groups within the Parliament. The total amount of this direct public funding to the political parties as administered by the Independent Electoral Commission amounts to R342,077 million (RSA, 2022). No public funding is made available directly to Members of Parliament (MPs) to, for example, assist them in running constituency offices, or to support their constituency work. But funds are made available to parties represented in Parliament in three forms: To fund constituency offices and constituency work, an amount of R372,131,088 To assist party leaders in Parliament to run their offices, an amount of R12,425,832 To the party groups represented in Parliament for them to carry out their parliamentary work, an amount of R127, 312,728. That is a total amount of R511,869,648 (Parliament, 2022). There are no provisions in South African law for the state to make a contribution towards the defraying of party election expenses (Anonymous, 2022). 5.4.2 Indirect public funding Political parties participating in national and/or municipal elections benefit from free public election broadcasts (PEBs). The public broadcasters are compelled to offer parties free advertising time on their programmes during the official election period. Private and community broadcasters may also offer PEBs, but must then comply with the regulations as set out by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). The benefit only extends to the time slots and not to the production costs of the advertisements (RSA, 2014). Broadcast Service Licensees (BSLs) that broadcast PEBs must make available, “every day, throughout the election broadcast period, ten (10) time-slots of fifty (50) seconds each” for the broadcast of PEBs (RSA, 2019b). The formula for airtime allocation in respect of PEBs is: There is a basic allocation (25%) of slots allocated to all parties contesting seats in the National Assembly. Fifteen percent (15%) of slots to be allocated to all parties based on the current seats in the National Assembly. A further fifteen percent (15%) of slots allocated to all parties based on current seats in the Provincial Legislature pro rata. Fifteen percent (15%) of slots to be allocated according to the number of candidates fielded by parties in the National Assembly list. Fifteen percent (15%) of slots to be allocated according to the number of candidates fielded by parties in the National Assembly regional list. Fifteen percent (15%) of slots to be allocated according to the number of provincial legislature candidates fielded by parties throughout the country. (RSA, 2014) 5.4.3 Private funding versus public funding of political parties ratio In an interview with a political party financing expert, the expert suggested that South African political parties are still largely dependent on private sources of funding. The ratio of private to public funding has, however, materially declined post the introduction of the PFPP Act. Whilst the ratio used to be around two-thirds to one-third, it has narrowed to around sixty percent to forty percent (Anonymous, 2022). 5.4.4 Quantifiable funding to support political parties The public funding for the political parties at a national level in South Africa for 2022 amounted to R853,946,648 million, made up as follows: 5.4.5 Public annual-spend per person on political parties Given that the South African population as of 2022 was around 60,6 million (Statista, 2022a), of which 43,587,000 are older than fifteen (Statista, 2022a), it means that the public purse funds political parties at the national level to an amount of around R19,59 per person per annum. Chapter 6: Discussion of findings The findings of this study suggest that the South African democracy, as it pertains to the funding of political parties, is substantially inadequate for them to perform their constitutional obligations. In reaching this conclusion, three factors were considered: The amount of public funds allocated to the political parties The interplay between political parties and politically aligned foundations The impact of the private funding of political parties’ transparency regulations on the funding of political parties. But first, a note on why it is important to ensure that political parties are enabled and capacitated to function effectively. It is recognised that public trust in political parties around the world has declined. On average, in 2021, only four out of ten citizens trust their governments (OECD, N.d.). For South Africa, it is equally bleak. In an IPSOS survey undertaken on behalf of the Inclusive Society Institute in 2022 (ISI, 2022), it was found that there was extremely low trust in South African political parties. The indexed trust score, for example, was only 8 for the ANC, -28 for the DA and -23 for the EFF. This is in large measure due to citizens not experiencing democratic dividends that have sufficiently improved their lives, and government ineptness and corruption that have undermined development and progress. To generalise their view, democracy serves only the political elite. Given these sentiments, it is safe to assume that taxpayers are reluctant to throw public money to political parties and will be even more reluctant to usher in a more favourable dispensation. Which makes the findings of this study particularly difficult to promote. But public distrust and reluctance needs to be weighed against the greater damage that will be caused to democracy and societal progress, should the political parties not be able to effectively carry out their constitutional functions. Consider: The quality of legislation when political parties do not have the means to properly evaluate their impact on society, their constitutionality, and even whether it is fiscally affordable. This often leads to bad legislation, poor governance, and fiscal stress. The effectiveness of political parties to hold government leaders to account, because they do not have the means to investigate, and test decisions, or to legally challenge unlawful and unconstitutional measures. There are ample examples around the world where democracies have slid into totalitarianism because parties have, due to insufficient means, been incapable of mounting effective challenges. The widening gap between public representatives and their voters due to them not being able to properly service their constituents. For them to do so requires offices, staff, and administrative and logistical support, all of which require means. The feeding of populist rhetoric and the promotion of ‘pie-in-the-sky’ policy proposals emerging from party policy development processes, when parties do not have the means to empirically research, interrogate, cost and consult their proposals. This is most probably the single most important contributor to the notion of politicians making empty promises, which, in turn, feeds distrust in democracy and the political dispensation. The difficulty to effectively participate in the ‘battle of ideas’ when parties do not have the means to communicate the policy proposals and views. To do so requires a media presence, advertising and effective campaigning, all of which will come to nought in the absence of funds. And then the electorate ask why there are no credible alternatives, whilst viable alternatives could very well be available, but not communicated. It is with these considerations in mind, that the public policymakers need to, in the author’s view, be bold and withstand any public critique of improvements to the South African public funding of political parties’ dispensation. Any reasonable and informed citizen should understand the difficulties for the range of political parties to deliver an effective political programme on a combined mere R19,59 per person per annum budget, which is the current reality. And then there is the question of corruption and political trickery through the misappropriation of state resources, and the use of sometimes dubious private funding. The popular argument goes somewhere along the lines of ‘private money and politics should not mix’. But how is politics practiced when there is no money. This study has again underlined, in the interest of clean governance, the need for transparency in the private funding of political parties. But the reality is that transparency comes at a cost, since it leads to less private funding in the democratic dispensation. And thus, to avoid the collapse of parties and the democratic dispensation, the resultant vacuum of private funding needs to be offset with public funding. The general rule is that when transparency regulations are low, it can be expected that private donations will be easier to obtain, and therefore public funding can be less generous. But the inverse also holds true. When transparency regulations are strict, private donations to the political parties will dry up, and therefore, in order to ensure effective party participation in the political order, equitable public funding needs to be made available. In South Africa, this study reveals, the introduction of welcome strict rules related to the public declaration of private funding of political parties, was not accompanied by the requisite compensatory fiscal adjustment to the public funds to be made available to the political parties, to enable them to effectively perform their duties. 6.1 Comparative analysis: The amount of public funds allocated to the political parties in selected jurisdictions In this section, a comparison is made as to the public funds that are made available to fund the democratic dispensation in the four jurisdictions that form part of this study. In the first table hereunder, the amounts budgeted from the public purse in 2022 are shown, and in the second table, what it equates to per person per annum. All currencies have been converted from their local denomination to South African rand and are reflected at purchasing power parity. From the above breakdowns, one can draw a clear conclusion that the South African political party public funding regime is inadequate when compared to the other jurisdictions. This statement is made against the backdrop of all the jurisdictions being, in the main, dependent on public funding. Whilst it could have been argued that South Africa prior to the introduction of the PFPP Act could endure minimum public funding, in that they were receiving generous private funding, the introduction of the Act has changed the playing field. South African parties are currently heavily dependent on public funding, which funding is, unquestionably, insufficient. When considering the amounts allocated directly to the parties (not including the independent foundations), South African parties receive a mere third of those in Germany, and around half of those in Sweden and the Netherlands. This is reflected at purchasing power parity, therefore comparing apples with apples. In addition to the public funds made available to the political parties, it is a well-established convention to fund politically aligned foundations as well. In Germany and Sweden these foundations, whilst politically aligned, are independent and autonomous, and thus the public funding is made to them directly. In the Netherlands there is a symbiotic relationship between the party and the foundations, and thus their funding is made through the parties. Germany has a particularly generous public funding regime for the political foundations. For South Africa to follow suit would be acutely aspirational and, in the author’s view, not realistic within the current environment. That said, the functioning of the politically aligned foundations seems to be an intricate part of the holistic operation of the party-political environment, since they play an enormously important role in the development of public policy and facilitate, in large measure, the ‘battle of ideas’, so important in any well-functioning modern democracy. It appears to be a glaring omission within the South African political scene. Furthermore, the foundations play an crucial role in establishing and maintaining inter-party liaison and cooperation between themselves and likeminded parties internationally. This is important given globalisation and the pivotal role of multilateral institutions. For parties to promulgate and explain their policy positions within the international community, requires from them to connect and coordinate globally. This too, is a glaring omission within the South African party-political environment. Chapter 7: Conclusions and recommendations This study into whether the South African political parties are adequately funded to carry out their constitutional mandate has revealed that there is indeed an urgent need for the policymakers to re-assess the funding of democracy in South Africa. One cannot expect quality participation within the democratic machinery, if the resources to enable and capacitate such is insufficient. The author also suggests that it is fair to conclude that the introduction of the PFPP Act has materially impacted the parties’ ability to attract funding. Coupled with an inadequate response by Treasury to significantly increase the public funding of political parties, the vibrancy and efficiency of South Africa’s democratic dispensation is threatened. Political parties form the bedrock of any democracy, and if they are not able to function effectively, society must accept that the quality of democracy will be undermined. What has become clear through this study is that when transparency rules relating to the disclosure of funders of political parties is increased, a decline in such donations to parties is inevitable. There is a clear linkage between transparency rules on the one hand, and the private funding of political parties on the other. It is apparent from the country studies contained in this research, that the common truth appears to be that when transparency rules are increased, they should be accompanied by a concomitant increase in public funding. This has not been the case in South Africa. The legislature has introduced stringent disclosure rules that rank amongst the strictest in the world, yet the public funding of parties has not significantly changed since pre-introduction of the PFPP Act. This is an obvious deficiency that requires urgent attention by the policymakers. 7.1 Conclusions Five general conclusions are drawn from the study: Democracy comes with a price tag, and it is not cheap. As with anything, if it is not properly funded, society will have to lower its expectations as to what their democracy will deliver. The carrying out of electoral and civic awareness campaigns, proper policy research, international cooperation, connectivity with the electorate, etcetera, are all crucial for a well-functioning and people-orientated democratic dispensation. If parties are underfunded, they will not be able to meet the legitimate expectation of the citizenry. There is a trade-off to be made between competing budget interests. For example, between public services, such as social benefits, and the funding of democracy. But both are equally important. The quality of public services depends on the quality of public representation, and the quality of public representation depends on a fair share of the budget. An underfunded democracy will inevitably result in mediocre party performance within the democratic dispensation. The tension between the executive arm of government and the legislature is deepened when political parties are not adequately equipped to carry out their oversight role, since under-capacitated political parties cannot be expected to compete on an equal footing to the executive, who have considerable means at their disposal. When examining the adequacy of public funding, it needs to be considered in a holistic fashion. One has to weigh the total contribution to parties, direct and indirect, from the public purse. That is, both to parties as institutions, and to empower parties within the legislature. But also, to external structures, such as think-tanks and foundations that feed the democratic policy contestation. This is an important feature of the European dispensation considered in this study, but which is blatantly absent within the South African dispensation. Benchmarking against the jurisdictions that form the baseline study of this research would suggest that the South African democracy, insofar as it relates to the public financing of political parties, is materially underfunded. 7.2 Recommendations The author ventures three recommendations for public policymakers to ponder: Treasury should materially increase its contribution to the Represented Political Party Fund (RPPF) administered by the Independent Electoral Commission, to more realistic levels. Failure to do so will undoubtedly result in the weakening of political parties at the expense of a well-functioning democracy. It is common cause that the policy development processes of political parties and their international work, amongst others, are not adequately catered for in the South African dispensation. Policymakers should consider the introduction of such politically aligned think-tanks/foundations in order to strengthen the empirical underpinning of the policy discourse in the country. This is a crucial deficiency in the South African system. The promotion and introduction of ill-informed national policy can prove disastrous for socio-economic stability and fiscal sustainability. These dangers are heightened when political role-players propagate irrational and untested policy ideas. Political think-tanks can play an important role to moderate the national policy dialogue. Whilst it is apparent that South Africa cannot afford as generous a dispensation as that of Germany, funding along similar lines to that in the Netherlands and Sweden is achievable. The PFPP Act should not serve to discourage private funding to political parties. Political parties are important to democracy and a culture of contributing to the political dispensation should be encouraged. 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[Online] Available at: https://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/default.aspx?pdffile=CDL-AD(2020)032-e [accessed: 22 May 2022] Webb, D. & Drury, A. 2020. Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Donation Reform and Other Measures) Bill 2020 (Cth). [Online] Available at: file:///C:/Users/dswan/Downloads/Sub16.pdf [accessed: 2 July 2022] xe Currency Convertor. 2022. 1 EUR to ZAR - Convert Euros to South African Rand. [Online] Available at: https://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1&From=EUR&To=ZAR [accessed: 10 August 2022] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. Email: info@inclusivesociety.org.za Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589 Web: www.inclusivesociety.org.za

  • Is South Africa's democracy properly funded?

    Copyright © 2023 Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8000 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute D I S C L A I M E R Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or its Board or Council members. Authors: Daryl Swanepoel Editor: Olivia Main FEBRUARY 2023 Content Chapter 1: Background and introduction of the study Chapter 2: The literature review 2.1 The role of political parties in a democratic dispensation 2.1.1 Why are political parties important for democracy? 2.1.2 What is the role and functions of political parties in a democracy? 2.2 The need for party-political funding 2.3 How political parties are funded 2.4 The imperative to ensure transparency through the regulation of private donations 2.5 The rationale for state funding of political parties 2.5.1 Enabling parties to fulfil their democratic responsibilities 2.5.2 State funding of political parties to combat corruption and as mitigation for anti-corruption measures 2.6 The different forms of state funding for political parties 2.7 The relationship between private donations, disclosure regulations, state funding and the viability of political parties 2.8 The post-1994 history of party-political funding in South Africa 2.9 Conclusion Chapter 3: The legislative review 3.1 The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996 3.1.1 Section 19(2) 3.1.2 Section 57(2)(c) 3.1.3 Section 59(1)(a) 3.1.4 Section 236 3.2 Political Party Funding Act, Act 6 of 2018 3.2.1 Direct funding of political parties 3.2.1.1 Prohibited donations 3.2.1.2 Donations from juristic persons 3.2.2 Represented Political Party Fund 3.2.3 Multi-Party Democracy Fund 3.3 Appropriation Bill B7-2022 and Parliament’s Annual Performance Plan 2022–2025 3.3.1 Appropriation Bill B7-2022 3.3.2 Parliament’s Annual Performance Plan 2022–2025 3.4 Conclusion Chapter 4: Research design and methodology 4.1 Research objective 4.2 Research question 4.3 Research design 4.4 Research subjects 4.5 Measurement 4.6 Data collection 4.7 Analysis 4.8 Ethics 4.9 Limitation of the study Chapter 5: Findings 5.1 The public party-funding regime of Germany 5.1.1 Public funding of German political parties 5.1.1.1 Restrictions of private donations to political parties 5.1.1.2 The various forms of public funding that German parties are entitled to 5.1.1.3 Incentives to encourage individuals/corporates to make donations to political parties 5.1.1.4 Indirect public funding 5.1.1.5 Private versus public funding of political parties ratio 5.1.1.6 Quantifiable public funding to support political parties 5.1.2 Funding to party-aligned political foundations 5.1.3 Germany–South Africa Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) 5.1.3.1 PPP in relation to direct public funding to political parties 5.1.3.2 PPP in relation to funding to politically aligned foundations 5.1.3.3 PPP in relation to the funding of the German party-political dispensation as a whole 5.1.3.4 Public annual-spend per person on political parties and foundations 5.2 The public party-funding regime of Sweden 5.2.1 Public funding of Swedish political parties 5.2.1.1 Restrictions of donations to political parties 5.2.1.2 The various forms of public funding that Swedish political parties are entitled to 5.2.1.3 Incentives to encourage individuals/corporations to make donations to political parties 5.2.1.4 Indirect public funding 5.2.1.5 Private funding versus public funding of political parties ratio 5.2.1.6 Quantifiable funding to support political parties 5.2.2 Funding to party-aligned political foundations 5.2.2.1 Quantifiable funding to support political foundations 5.2.3 Sweden–South Africa Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) 5.2.3.1 PPP in relation to direct public funding to political parties 5.2.3.2 PPP in relation to funding to politically aligned foundations 5.2.3.3 PPP in relation to the funding of the Swedish party-political dispensation as a whole 5.2.3.4 Public annual-spend per person on political parties and foundations 5.3 The public party-funding regime of the Netherlands 5.3.1 Public funding of Swedish political parties 5.3.1.1 Restrictions of donations to political parties 5.3.1.2 The various forms of public funding that the Netherlands political parties are entitled to 5.3.1.3 Incentives to encourage individuals/corporations to make donations to political parties 5.3.1.4 Indirect public funding 5.3.1.5 Private funding versus public funding of political parties ratio 5.3.1.6 Quantifiable funding to support political parties 5.3.2 Public funding to political foundations 5.3.3 The Netherlands–South Africa Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) 5.3.3.1 PPP in relation to direct public funding to political parties 5.3.3.2 Public annual-spend per person on political parties and foundations 5.4 The public party-funding regime of South Africa 5.4.1 Public funding of South African political parties 5.4.2 Indirect public funding 5.4.3 Private funding versus public funding of political parties ratio 5.4.4 Quantifiable funding to support political parties 5.4.5 Public annual-spend per person on political parties Chapter 6: Discussion of findings 6.1 Comparative analysis: The amount of public funds allocated to the political parties in selected jurisdictions Chapter 7: Conclusions and recommendations 7.1 Conclusions 7.2 Recommendations References Cover photo credit: istockphoto.com – Jacques Kloppers Chapter 1: Background and introduction of the study Prior to 2019, donations to political parties in South Africa were unregulated. But in light of the growing scandals flowing from alleged illicit donations to parties, such as money for tenders, civil society began to agitate for private donations to political parties to be more transparent. It was, for example, alleged that the ruling African National Congress was being bankrolled by the now fugitive Gupta family and that the Democratic Alliance was captured by the so-called “white monopoly capital” (M&G, 2017). Donations to political parties, pre- and post-1994, have always been shrouded in secrecy, and therefore “it has never been possible to tell whether political parties act in the best interests of the public, or whether they act in the best interests of those who fill their pockets” (M&G, 2017). This led to the Institute for Democratic Alternatives in South Africa (Idasa) lodging a legal challenge in 2004, to ensure the introduction of legislation to limit private funding to parties and compel them to make public their sources of funding (M&G, 2017). Against this background, the High Court in Cape Town, in 2017, ruled that legislation needed to be introduced to regulate the funding of political parties (De Wet, 2017). This led to the passage of the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), Act 6 of 2018 (RSA, 2019a). The Act was subsequently assented to by the President of the Republic and came into effect on 1 April 2019 (The Presidency, 2019). Since the introduction of the legislation, private funding of political parties has, to a large degree, dried up, with many – including the ruling party – finding it difficult to meet their operational obligations. It has, for example, been widely reported in the media that the ruling party is unable to regularly pay its staff their monthly salaries (Moichela, 2022). Parties have directly linked the evaporation of private funding to the disclosure requirements contained in the PPFA. Former ANC Treasurer General, Paul Mashatile, is reported to have said that the Act “is making regular donors reluctant to give” (Letshwiti-Jones, 2022). It is recognised that, in order for political parties to effectively conduct their democratic obligations, they need adequate funding so that they can carry out their core functions, and to fund their election campaigns (Venice Commission, 2020:56). State funding for parties is essential to guarantee parties’ independence from undue influence of private donors and to ensure that they “have the opportunity to compete in accordance with the principle of equal opportunity”. But private contributions are also a form of political participation. Therefore, a balance needs to be achieved between encouraging moderate contributions and limiting unduly large contributions on the one hand, and state funding on the other (Venice Commission, 2020:56). It is evident that the South African parties are struggling to keep afloat. Whether this is due to insufficient funding or because the available funds are not being appropriately applied, is an open question. Whether the balance between private funding and state funding within the highly regulated South African dispensation is adequate, needs to be assessed. This study aims to carry out such an assessment by benchmarking the South African party-political funding regime against a selection of European democracies whose election systems are similarly based on proportional representation. Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands have been chosen, since, as stated, their elections are based on proportional representation. In Germany it is a system of personalised proportional representation, where “each voter has two votes: the first for an individual constituency candidate, and the second for a party-list in a particular state” (Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community, N.d.). In Sweden the number of seats each party receives in the Riksdag is in proportion to the number of votes the party received in the election (Sveriges Riksdag, N.d.), and in the Netherlands citizens vote for a candidate on the candidate list, with parties represented in Parliament in proportion to the total number of votes they received in the election (Tweede Kamer. Der Staten-Generaal, N.d.). The study will attempt to settle the question as to whether our democracy is sufficiently funded. It will do so through the lens of political parties, the primary building blocks of our country’s parliamentary democracy. The theoretical motivation for the public funding for political parties is that it will have a positive impact on the role of money in politics and “ensure that all political forces have access to enough resources to reach the electorate, thereby encouraging pluralism and providing the electorate with a wider choice of politicians and policies” (International IDEA, 2014:22). However, as has been alluded to, the introduction of party-funding regulation in South Africa has led to financial instability within the political party environment. The level of public funding should therefore take into account the impact that high regulation has on party income from private sources. Should practice prove that such public funding be insufficient, the objective of bolstering democracy could very well be undermined. This study therefore aims to evaluate the South African party-funding dispensation against international best practice. It intends to make recommendations to the public-policymakers as to what adjustments are needed, if any, to ensure that sufficiently resourced political parties adequately underpin the country’s democratic dispensation. Chapter 2: The literature review The literature review aims to garner an understanding as to the role of political parties in a democratic dispensation, their need for income and how they are funded, and to understand the interaction between private and state funding of parties. 2.1 The role of political parties in a democratic dispensation Before we delve into the financing aspects of political parties, the review starts by asking two fundamental questions: Why are political parties important for democracy and what is the role of parties in a democratic dispensation? 2.1.1 Why are political parties important for democracy? The influential International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) argue that “political parties are crucial for the functioning of representative democracy”, since they produce a variety of policy options for the electorate to consider and choose from. They also provide the mechanism “through which citizens express diversity of interests and aspirations” (International IDEA, N.d.). Political parties bring people with the same political ideas together, for them to take part in elections collectively, in the hope of getting as many of those of the same ‘thinking’ as possible elected into legislatures, such as Parliament or a municipal council. And similarly, to hold as many posts as possible in the government (Government of the Netherlands, N.d.). In this vein, many prominent scholars have lamented the importance of political parties for democracy. They have said that parties are indispensable, make democracy workable, and provide a mechanism for the public to be represented in the legislatures through electoral competition (Ezrow, 2011). Political parties allow for broader societal participation in the drafting of coherent public policy, serve as an intermediary between members of society and the government, connect them and allow for the interpreted communication between government and society (Ezrow, 2011). Political parties make government accountable for its actions by helping the public identify the executives’ past performances, and by diminishing the power of dominating personalities. The existence of opposition parties also allows for non-performing incumbent governments to be challenged at the poll (Ezrow, 2011). Individuals attempting to challenge incumbent governments tend to be “fragile, fragmented and incoherent, with limited capacity to mobilise, organise and coordinate collective action”. When individuals group themselves into parties, they become more capable of overcoming coordination problems. And they create longer-term time horizons, since parties normally have long-term goals with a broader spectrum of priorities (Ezrow, 2011). They also help politicians solve these coordination problems, since they act in a collective manner and are able to present disciplined goals by keeping politicians in line with the goals of their parties, as opposed to individuals that can opportunistically manoeuvre their message as the wind blows (Ezrow, 2011). “Parties also enable the opposition to stand firm against divide and rules tactics by the incumbent regime”, something that individuals acting on their own accord will find difficult to do. So too, independent politicians may not be able to credibly commit to policies that do not coincide with their own preferences, whereas, by being a member of a party, they are put in a position where they can convincingly commit to policies that they normally would not support in order to win a larger support base (Ezrow, 2011). Furthermore, governments comprise collective leadership capable of carrying out cogent and coordinated policies. This requires likeminded individuals acting in unison. Parties play a role in creating such cohesive leadership through their internal recruitment, nomination and socialisation processes. Unlike individual politicians, parties, because of their diversified process of recruitment, are also able to create ways for individuals of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds to rise to political power (Ezrow, 2011). And parties are more likely to be in a position to provide valuable training in negotiation, compromise and coalition building; and broader socialisation with regard to democratic practices (Ezrow, 2011). Whilst acknowledging the right of individuals to compete for political office, there seems to be broad consensus that political parties are, given their greater capacity to coordinate and function over a far wider sphere within the democratic machinations, an essential component of a functioning democracy. Ezrow (2011) quotes the authoritative American political scientist, E.E. Schattschneider, who argued that "democracy is unthinkable save in terms of parties”. 2.1.2 What is the role and functions of political parties in a democracy? Having, in the aforementioned section, established that political parties are indeed important for democracy to succeed, in this section we examine the role of political parties and the functions they carry out. Although somewhat dated, being written in 1950, it was then argued that political parties consist of individuals that hold common views on important public questions, and who promote their principles in order to gain control of government so that they can put their ideas into operation. These parties generally have three things: organisation, fidelity to certain principles, and they must follow constitutional means to reach their objectives (Singh & Singh, 1950). This remains true today. Similarly, the authors contended that political parties did not exist in Greek times, as citizens participated in the democratic processes in their own capacity. But in modern times, due to the complexity of government and the vast increase in the population, it is not practical for all to be directly involved in the democratic processes. Political parties now act as “brokers of ideas and carriers of government”. Indeed, they are the principal go-betweens in the constitutional process. Parties are the ‘people’ – the apex norm of all democratic constitutions – organising themselves. They therefore act as the organisational vehicle for the people, with the value proposition being that they can be better enabled if properly organised and through the sharing of resources (Kangu, 2001). Kangu affirms the 1950 assertion that political parties are in fact an “association of private citizens formed to promote certain political and economic beliefs … [with the purpose of having] … them adopted as government policy”. Political parties fulfil a range of important functions in a democracy, such as: Drawing together those people who share similar philosophies and ideas. They are vehicles through which those with broadly similar interests can organise and campaign. Since governments are composed of people who belong to political parties, political parties are in reality the way in which political power is exercised. Political parties therefore provide the government and the opposition. Parties select candidates to contest elections. It is therefore parties that provide the nation’s political leadership. Parties provide organisational support for organising and financing election campaigns, for recruitment and training of candidates, and for developing policy, all of which are crucial for the sustainability of the party’s elected members. Through the debating of issues and formulation of policies to be presented to the electorate during elections, parties articulate the shared beliefs, values and philosophies of its members. They then utilise these to determine their attitude to legislation, public policy, and the issues of the day. Parties are often an avenue for community groups to shape the decision-making process. Many civil society organisations, such as trade unions, organised business, advocacy groups, etcetera, have close ties with political parties. They interact with the parties in order to influence the development or implementation of public policy. Parties are one of the main avenues for political debate and discussion in the community. Given that statutory authority vests in the hands of government, parties are ultimately responsible for the structure of the machinery of government, in that, in practice, it is they who can make appointments to the public sector from the ranks of their members and supporters. (AustralianPolitics.com, N.d.) Parties also fulfil important ancillary roles in society that go beyond their own narrow interests. In many societies, including South Africa, they also fulfil the role of educating society on the role of politics and the political processes. For example, they provide political education for their members and broader society. This includes, amongst others, voter education – that is, the activities and processes designed to deliver a free, fair, efficient and cost-effective election, the value of democracy and human rights (Sirivunnabood, N.d.). And they contribute to the legitimisation of the political system, in that their activities help connect citizens and social groupings to the political system. In this, they anchor the political order in the consciousness of the citizens and in social forces (Hofmeister & Grabow, 2011). 2.2 The need for party-political funding Whilst much has been written on the shady influence of money in politics, the fact is that political parties need resources to effectively carry out their constitutional and democratic mandates. Money in politics is not a problem per se; it is whether that money has been ethically secured, legally applied, and fairly distributed amongst the political role-players. Should the nation aspire to a well-functioning and effective representative democracy, it must accept that political parties – lest the country is to slide towards authoritarianism – need to be well-resourced and that money is necessary for inclusive democracy and effective governance, for allowing candidates and parties to reach out to voters and for them to build long-term political organisations (Lee-Jones, 2019). Political parties need appropriate funding in order for them to carry out their core functions, activities and programmes, all of which involve expenses “which should be seen as the necessary and unavoidable costs of democracy”. Parties need to maintain their party organisations, employ staff, campaign in elections, and communicate with the electorate at large (Van Biezen, 2003). Political parties have at least eight spending needs (IEC, N.d.): Developing the political will of people. For this, programmes and actions need to be put in place to inform, empower and mobilise citizens. Shaping public opinion. This would, for example, include the costs attached to carrying out media and advertising campaigns, hosting public outreach programmes such as town hall meetings, etcetera. Inspiring and furthering political education, which will include activities such as voter education, informing the electorate with regard to their constitutional rights and the value of democracy and human rights. Promoting active participation of individuals in political life, for example, the identification and recruitment of young leaders, their training and equipping them for future political leadership roles. But also ‘foot soldiers’ training’ to ensure that the party has sufficient manpower to carry out campaigns, act as party agents during elections, etcetera. Exercising an influence on political trends, which could entail, for example, empirical research; policy and message development; and the carrying out of polls and surveys. Ensuring linkages between the people and organs of state, for example, through the maintenance of constituency offices to service the electorate, and to deal with their complaints. It may be necessary to arrange contact meetings with government and political leadership to engage the electorate on various issues as the need arises. Operational expenses such as staff, travel, administration, office rental, the hosting of meetings, running of programmes and publications. Election campaigns, for example, the hosting of rallies, media advertisement, posters and billboards, pamphlets, town hall meetings, etcetera. Access to sufficient funding for political parties is crucial to the overall vibrancy of an electoral and democratic system. Without funding, political parties would not be able to reach out to the electorate to explain their goals and policies, nor would they be able to maintain mechanisms for them to receive input from the electorate about their views. Similarly, they would not be able to run dynamic election campaigns capable of engaging citizens in the electoral process. Neither would they be able to maintain the democratic dialogue between elections (Ohman, 2014:1). What is therefore being inferred is that parties that lack organisational coherence and institutionalisation, and/or programmatic substance, will fail to perform. Neither will they be able to get much traction amongst the electorate (Cotón, 2008). Needless to say, poor performing political parties are counterproductive to the building of dynamic, responsive and inclusive democratic dispensations. 2.3 How political parties are funded This literature review has revealed that political parties are funded via a range of sources. Apart from passive income in the form of interest or dividends that parties may receive from investments lodged at registered financial institutions, at least six streams of funding have been identified. Direct state funding In many democracies, political parties receive funding via the national fiscus. Direct funding from the state may take on different forms, differing from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Similarly, there may be different streams of direct state funding within the same jurisdiction. In Germany, for example, there is no distinction drawn between campaign funds and political party funds, since campaigning is considered part of the normal duties of a party. Campaign expenditure therefore forms part of the normal operation of a political party and is included in the party's total budget (DW, 2021). Germany’s state funding of political parties is votes-based, with further contribution-based funding dependent on the extent to which they are established in society. Whilst there are preconditions for entitlement and absolute limits set, the basic tenet of the funding is that parties receive an amount for each vote received. Section 18 (3) of the Act on Political Parties states that they are entitled to state funding in the amount of €0.85 per valid vote won at the most recent European, Bundestag and Land parliament elections up to a total of four million votes, and €0.70 for every additional vote thereafter. In other words, the financial rewards given by the state vary depending on electoral success (Deutscher Bundestag, 2012). These amounts may have been adjusted since 2012, the discovery of which will be made during the interviews envisaged by the research. For contributions given by natural persons, the parties receive €0.38 per euro donated per person per year up to a total of €3,300 (Deutscher Bundestag, 2012). Similarly, these amounts may have been adjusted since 2012. In other countries a distinction is drawn between regular annual funding of parties and reimbursement for election campaign expenditure. For example, after each federal election or by-election in Australia, the Australian Election Commission distributes money to eligible political parties, candidates and Senate groups to reimburse them for election campaign expenditure (AEC, N.d.). The current election funding rate is AU$ 3.016 for every first preference vote received. An automatic payment in the amount of AU$ 11,029 is made. Further funding of expenditure greater than the automatic payment can be claimed. The amount payable will be calculated as the lesser of the calculated election funding entitlement; or the amount of demonstrated electoral expenditure. The payment will be reduced by the amount that has been paid as an automatic payment (AEC, N.d.). Indirect state funding for parties In addition to the direct state funding to political parties, elected representatives and political groups receive varying degrees of support for their work as parliamentarians. For example, the House of Commons in the United Kingdom reimburse MPs for the costs of running an office, employing staff, and travelling between Parliament and their constituency (UK Parliament, N.d.) In South Africa, Parliament also provides allowances for the setting up of constituency offices. These payments are, however, made directly to the parliamentary party. Further administrative allowances are also made to parties to employ parliamentary support staff and to enable them to effectively perform their parliamentary function. The administrative allowances are distributed in proportion to the seats each party occupies in Parliament (Parliament of the RSA, N.d.). In addition, a feature of European democracies is the state-funded politically aligned foundations. Germany currently has, for example, six political foundations that receive funding from the government. Each foundation is associated to a party that is represented in the federal Parliament (Unmüssig, 2017). These foundations are tasked to, amongst others, promote civic participation, and support young academic talent with scholarships and support the development of democracies abroad. They offer socio-political and democratic education and provide information and policy analysis at home and abroad. Their purpose is to build on the principles of liberal democracy and to solidify the basic principles of societal solidarity, subsidiarity and tolerance (Unmüssig, 2017). Whilst the foundations act autonomously and are legally and financially independent, each foundation is “politically associated and close to a political party”. Their work therefore stimulates and indirectly underpins the work of political parties (Unmüssig, 2017). Membership fees, trade union and other voluntary contributions; and public representative levies Party membership subscriptions are normally not high, but can collectively can make up a material portion of a party’s income. In 2014, for example, membership income for parties in the United Kingdom was 23% for the Green Party, 15% for the Labour Party, 9% for the Liberal Democrat Party, but just 2% for the Conservative Party. In 2015 the Labour Party also introduced a registered supporters’ scheme by which people can pay £3 per annum, which gives them the right to vote in the leadership elections (Brit Politics, N.d.). In South Africa, the ruling African National Congress has uninitiated the Progressive Citizens’ Forum, a debit-order campaign aimed at soliciting regular contributions from its members and supporters (PCF, N.d.). So too, trade unions in the United Kingdom have been linked to the Labour Party since its foundation in 1900. Most charge their members a political levy, which can be used for campaigns, publicity on issues they are concerned with and so on. Some can affiliate to the Labour Party and pay the Labour Party for the number of members that they have. In 2014 this provided twenty-seven percent of Labour’s income (Brit Politics, N.d.). And in some countries, parties levy their public representatives a monthly contribution based on their earnings from their position as a public representative. In South Africa, for example, the ruling African National Congress collects levies from their public representatives. In 2009 they took in about R250,000 from their parliamentarians and cabinet ministers each month. MPs were then levied around R500, while cabinet members paid between R1,500 to R2,000 a month. Councillors are also levied (politicsweb, 2009). The DA public representatives pay around 2% of their salary, while the ID levies 10% per month. The IFP charged MPs R3,300 a month (politicsweb, 2009). Donations Direct donations and sponsorships from corporates and wealthy individuals also remain a feature of modern-day politics, albeit that jurisdictions are insisting on greater regulation to various degrees of late. This will be further explored later in this study. Standard Bank, for example, donated R5 million to political parties in 2009, split amongst political parties based on the IEC’s funding formula, “in terms of which funding is distributed to political parties in proportion to their representation in the National Assembly" (politicsweb, 2009). Commercial investments It is not uncommon for political parties to own companies as investments to augment their income. The SPD of Germany, for example, has a one hundred percent shareholding in German Printing and Publishing mbH (dd.vg, N.d.). Until as recently as 1997 the SDP of Sweden owned the advertising company, Folkreklam and Förenade ARE-Bolagen (Lakomaa, 2019). And in South Africa, the African National Congress set up Chancellor House as an investment vehicle to make the party self-sufficient over time (Jolobe, 2010). Fundraising events Parties also raise funds through hosting dinners, holding raffles, and so on (Brit Politics, N.d.). These events are sometimes organised on a national scale, providing a substantial stream of income. In South Africa, for example, the ruling party, under the auspices of its Progressive Business Forum, regularly hosts presidential gala dinners, business breakfasts and corporate exhibitions on the sidelines of its national conferences (Ticketpro, N.d.). In a similar vein, the UK Labour Party hosts exhibitions at their national conferences (UK Labour Party, N.d.). 2.4 The imperative to ensure transparency through the regulation of private donations It has been established that effective and functioning political parties are crucial for democracy. For them to be so, they need to be adequately resourced. This funding can be either via the fiscus or from private sources. Funding from the fiscus is open and transparent. From private sources, less so but needs to be. Why? Because a lack of information on how much money circulates in and around elections, where resources are coming from and how they are spent, makes it harder for the electorate to make informed decisions (International IDEA, 2019). Donations to political parties, be it direct or indirect, can materially impact, influence and distort both the electoral process and passage of legislation. And it has also proved to be a major motive for grand corruption (GSDRC, 2001; Bodede, 2022). Therefore, society needs to know who are funding the parties so that: The electoral process is fair and equitable. Parties need to be able to compete on an equal footing. Elections can be distorted should some parties be flooded with funds that are illicitly obtained, since it could create unfair advantage for them. In a multi-party election, there is often a spending rat race between the parties, where governing parties are often in a stronger position to solicit donations, thereby placing the opposition in a disadvantaged position (GSDRC, 2001). The passage of legislation can be unduly influenced should donors exercise financial coercion to manoeuvre certain policy and legislative outcomes, which may not be in the interest of the broader public. It may even sway elected representatives to either actively, or through inertia, go against their undertakings to the electorate (GSDRC, 2001). This is because when politicians become overly dependent on donations from a limited group of donors, the danger is that their policy programmes can be co-opted (International IDEA, 2019). It also facilitates corruption and erodes citizen trust in political institutions (International IDEA, 2019). And, as has been demonstrated in the South African context, shady donations to parties, for example cash for tenders, as has been highlighted in the Zondo Commission of Enquiry into Corruption. This led to corruption on a grand scale (Bodede, 2022). According to Webb and Drury (2020), “big political donations are intended to have political influence”. They say that there is a “sliding scale of influence” that is facilitated by such donations: Access: It can ensure the donor gets access to a public representative that ordinary citizens would not normally get. Clientelism: This is the kind of corruption where officeholders are influenced through large donations to decide issues not on the merits of the argument, or the interests and desires of their constituents, but according to the biddings of the donor upon which the officeholder may have become dependent. Quid pro quo: Where politicians make promises in exchange for donations. Pressure: The running of political parties and election campaigns has become very costly. Parties and politicians are accordingly being placed under enormous pressure to keep donors happy, lest they walk away with their support. Big money effectively builds inequality between the haves and the have-nots into the political system. There are at least four arguments in favour of transparency in party finance: The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) considers it paramount for parties to make their funds transparent in order to prevent corruption. The objective of regulations aimed at making party funding more transparent is to, in the first instance, rebuild public trust amongst those that have disengaged from politics due to the marginalisation of the voter through the dominance of money in the political environment. And secondly, to prevent affluent and illicit donors from dominating modern politics. Transparency creates a mechanism through which the adherence to party finance regulation can be monitored. Where parties receive state funding, transparency ensures that parties can be effectively monitored in order to prevent the misuse of public money. It ensures that the electorate can be better informed as to who is supporting which political parties, thereby creating for them a tool to observe whether parties’ special interests may be motivated by external influences. (Tonhäuser & Stavenes, 2020) Thus, it is safe to conclude that the only way that the electorate can hold their public representatives accountable for their actions and make an informed vote in the knowledge that their representatives have not been unduly influenced by donor monies, is for them to know how the parties (and individual public office-bearers) have been financed and by who (Essop, N.d.). In conclusion: Clearly, money is needed to stimulate, maintain and enhance political competition, an essential component of any effective democracy. But if the quantum and source of that money is not transparent, it could pose a serious challenge to the democratic dispensation – should donors, for example, channel their resources to the political elite, essentially negating the ordinary citizens’ ability to influence policies and policymakers through their vote (International IDEA, 2019). 2.5 The rationale for state funding of political parties There are two overarching reasons that motivate for the state to fund political parties. The first being a mechanism to strengthen democracy by ensuring that political parties are empowered to fulfil their constitutional and democratic roles, and that they are able to do so within a system that is fair and equitable. The second is to combat corruption. A consequence of high transparency regulation as to who funds political parties, is a loss of private funding to political parties, as private funders shy away from being publicly exposed. This creates a funding gap, which public funding needs to address. 2.5.1 Enabling parties to fulfil their democratic responsibilities There are three central arguments in favour of the state providing political parties with financial resources for purposes of ensuring that they can effectively carry out their constitutional and democratic mandates. First, as has been repeatedly argued, political parties are critical to democracy. It is implausible to suggest that a functional democracy is possible without effective parties and party organisation. For them to be effective, they must be able to mobilise the electorate, socialise the citizenry, recruit and train future leaders and party workers, research and formulate policy, and fund their operational costs, such as rent, salaries, etcetera. Their mere existence offers support to the democratic process. And the character of the modern state depends directly on the abilities of the parties serving as integrative links between state and society. State funding can contribute to this. Secondly, parties are the vehicles through which the electorate express their political views, and they are the mechanisms through which citizens can become involved in the governing of society. However, there may be vast differences between interest groups and spheres of society – financial and otherwise – that could translate into the powerful having a disproportionate ability to mobilise the electorate behind their narrow cause. The provision of state funding helps safeguard political equality. It also mitigates against the problem of private and corporate funding potentially being channelled to only some parties, since this undermines the principle of equality in the parties’ ability to be responsive apropos their linkages and interactions with the citizenry. Thirdly, the costs of running a political party in a modern democracy is costly and they are competing against far better resourced external think-tanks and interest groups, who exert significant influence. Parties need to compete with them for the public mind. For this they need to develop and present to the public coherent policy proposals on a wide range of issues, which requires highly qualified staff and institutionalised expertise. State funding can help sustain the central role of political parties in the political system by providing funding support to enable them to develop and communicate their messages to the voters. (Pierre, Svåsand & Widfeldt, 2000:1-24) A further strong argument in favour of funding political parties, is that it is necessary to develop strong opposing political parties so that there is capable and healthy competition within the political system. And funding by the state guards mitigates against an incumbent party misusing the programmes and resources of the state to further its own interests (Marfo, Musah & Owiredu-Amankwah, 2021). 2.5.2 State funding of political parties to combat corruption and as mitigation for anti-corruption measures Once again, to fulfil their core functions, political parties need appropriate funding. When there is inadequate funding, political parties are ‘forced’ to adapt various strategies to fund their activities and programmes, which has to pay back in cash or kind. This often leads to “corruption and kickbacks and appointment of incompetent people to hold public positions” (Marfo, Musah & Owiredu-Amankwah, 2021). To minimise the danger of corruption, in particular state capture and influence peddling, best practice suggests that the funding of political parties ought to be regulated. In this regard, article 7(3) of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) requires states to improve transparency in the funding of political parties and public office candidates (UNODC, N.d.). A growing number of countries subsidise political parties through the fiscus, or direct provision of goods and services. This is primarily meant to help the parties perform their functions, but it is generally also considered to decrease the opportunities for corruption, since, having some form of sustainable funding, parties are de-incentivised from succumbing to the interests of private donors in return for donations (UNODC, N.d.). However, a consequence of high disclosure transparency regulations appears to be that corporates and wealthy individuals become more reluctant to give to political parties where there are high disclosure requirements. In South Africa, with the introduction of the PPFA Act in 2019, parties have been crying foul of its unintended consequences, with them receiving fewer private donations. Donors have become apprehensive knowing that their donations would be open for public scrutiny, as it may lead to either reprisal or an impact on their reputation (Pasensie & Clarke, 2021). The fear of reprisal and/or reputational loss is two-directional. On the one hand, as deliberated before, private donations to governing parties could be viewed as influence peddling, whilst donors may also be fearful of disclosing donations to opposition parties, for fear of the government blocking them from tenders (Pasensie & Clarke, 2021). And as discussed in the introduction of this study, it has, in South Africa, had a devastating impact on the parties’ ability to properly fund their operations. It should, therefore, be recognised that the probability is high that elevated transparency rules aimed at combatting corruption, will negatively impact the political parties’ ability to solicit donations from private funders. It is with this in mind that regulators promote state funding as a means to mitigate against the losses parties may incur as a result of high disclosure regimes. But, as illustrated, should the state funding not be set at an appropriate level, it could have the opposite effect of weakening the parties’ operational performance. In determining the appropriate level, governments will have to accept that democracy, and for that matter the fight against corruption, comes at a price and that, accordingly, the fiscus will have to provide the necessary resources. What that appropriate level is, is an open question, and will be for each country to make its own determination. But a 2021 study into money and politics did give some indication. It was found that in countries where high levels of spending had become an equilibrium outcome due to corruption and the influence of special interests, the setting of a spending limit may increase political competition and allow for new entrants into politics. In countries where political elites come disproportionately from more affluent and well-resourced echelons of society, it may also reduce the concentration of political power in the hands of the better off. These effects might have direct and indirect consequences for a country’s policy outcomes and, might I add, the depth of democracy in the medium to long term (Avis, Ferraz, Finan & Varjão, 2021). 2.6 The different forms of state funding for political parties A complementary approach to regulating donations is to give political parties access to public funding. The purpose of providing political parties with public funding is to: Promote pluralism and to stimulate the battle of ideas – that is, providing the electorate with a wider choice of policies – by ensuring that all the “relevant political forces” are sufficiently resourced. By giving all parties access to funds for campaigning, it also serves to equal the playing field by limiting the advantage that contenders with access to significant resources have. The levelling of the playing field will, however, only be achieved if the gap between the rich and the poor is addressed by complementing public funding with spending caps. Providing the extent of state funding is significant enough, it serves to incentivise obeyance to the election rules. This is because political parties will fear losing access to public funding should they not obey the rules. (International IDEA, 2014) The International Democracy and Electoral Assistance Institute (International IDEA, 2014), in their handbook on political finance, identify two types of state funding for political parties: Direct funding, that is, providing money Whilst it may seem fair that all registered political parties should receive state funding, such an approach opens up the danger of the system being abused, where parties with little or no support are formed just to collect the funding. Therefore, in most countries, a threshold is applied for parties to gain access to the state funding. This could, in a proportional representation system, be a minimum share of the vote obtained, or in a constituency system, a minimum number of seats. Different countries also follow different allocation criteria. Here too, whilst it may seem that the most democratic way is to give all parties the same amount – national election campaigns after all could cost as much for a smaller party as for a larger party – such an approach, it could be argued, goes against the will of the people. It could also be argued that it is a waste of taxpayers’ money, in that a lot of money will be distributed to many parties who may not materially alter the shape of party politics in the country. The more common option preferred by most countries is to allocate the state funds in proportion to the votes obtained by the various parties. In some jurisdictions this is done purely proportionally, in others, a percentage is divided equally amongst qualifying parties, with the balance allocated proportionally. Then again, a different form is to match the funding that parties manage to raise out of their own initiatives from donors, with an equal amount from the fiscus. This is, for example, the position in the United States and Germany. But this too is open for criticism, with detractors arguing that it favours parties with strong business links. Thus, whilst the overarching objective remains the same for whichever system is adopted, it is for each country to decide which of the systems is most palatable for their particular circumstances and environment. Indirect funding, that is, providing goods and services Most countries also provide indirect funding to political parties. This too can take on various forms, the most common being the provision of free or subsidised access to the public media for campaign purposes. But there are other examples as well, such as tax relief for parties/candidates and their donors, access to public buildings for campaign events and subsidised postage (International IDEA, 2014). Table 2.1. below captures the rationale and considerations regarding direct public funding as developed by International IDEA. Table 2.1.: The rationale and considerations regarding financial reporting requirements (Source: International IDEA, 2014) In addition to direct and indirect funding, in its broader interpretation, alternative state assistance that can help parties develop and improve their standing in society and within the array of parties, can also include measures other than funding. It can, for example, take the form of: Legislation placing spending caps on election campaigns In many jurisdictions, there are limits as to how much parties and/or candidates are allowed to spend on their election campaigns. The purpose is not to regulate the influence of money, but to reduce the advantages that political parties and candidates with access to large amounts of money have over those that are less resourced. Whilst this does not equate to income for the party and/or candidate, it does help level the playing field so that the different parties/candidates have a more equitable chance of selling their message. It also brings less pressure to bear on party treasurers, since it reduces the overall spending on election campaigns. In the South African context, as has already been highlighted in this study, where parties are finding it difficult to stay afloat, this can play an important role in stabilising the financial fortunes of parties and contribute to their sustainability and longevity (International IDEA, 2014). Funding of politically aligned foundations In many European countries there are political foundations that receive funding from the state. Whilst each foundation is close to, and ideologically aligned with a particular party, they are autonomous and legally independent. In Germany, for example, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation is associated with the Social Democrats (SPD), and Konrad Adenauer Foundation with the Christian Democrats (CDU). In fact, foundations can be formed and funded by the state for each political party that has been elected to the Bundestag for at least a second term (Unmüssig, 2017). They receive their funding from a number of ministries, such as the Federal Foreign Office, and the Federal Ministries of Education and Research and of Economic Cooperation and Development, who set and adopt the level of funding as part of the federal budget negotiations process (Unmüssig, 2017). There are similar arrangements in other European countries such as Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary, Finland, Greece and Spain, amongst others, as well as at the European level (Bértoa & Teruel, N.d.). As previously stated, they do work, amongst others, in the field of civic, democratic and socio-political education, as well as policy analysis and empirical research (Unmüssig, 2017). Whilst they are legally independent, determine their own programmes and are in no way accountable to political parties, they do do their work through the ideological lens of their associated parties. In so doing, individual political parties benefit immensely, since foundations underpin and complement the objectives of the party they are associated with (European Parliament, N.d.). As such, they should be viewed as part and parcel of the political party funding regime, in that their output motivates policy in favour of the particular party they are associated with, and they provide empirical evidence on which parties can develop policy and base their arguments on. In the absence of such foundations, such research and other activities would fall wholly to the political parties themselves. From the aforementioned, it is evident that a determination as to whether the democratic dispensation is adequately funded rests on more than just the financial income of parties, but so too the broader architecture of the particular dispensation. 2.7 The relationship between private donations, disclosure regulations, state funding and the viability of political parties Evidence suggests that many businesses and other clandestine interests support the bigger political parties with a view to influence public policy, and therefore the legitimate calls for greater transparency within the party funding regime. The public have a right to know who is funding the various parties, so that they can assess whether the donations play a role in influencing policy positions. Regulation is needed to prevent policy capture (Terracino & Hamada, 2014). However, as has already been pointed out in this review, an undeniable consequence of greater transparency is that donors become reluctant to donate to political parties. This is due to a fear of being victimised or penalised if their contributions were to be disclosed (Maphunye & Motubatse, 2017). And what the review has simultaneously revealed, is that well-functioning political parties are crucial for representative democracy. Thus, since “public funding is generally tied to stronger rules and controls”, it is argued that where disclosure regulation has been introduced, it needs to be complemented by state funding, lest the lack of sufficient funding becomes counterproductive by rendering the political parties ineffective due to them not being able to financially sustain themselves. In the process of reducing reliance on private funding to support themselves, public funding to political parties becomes necessary to sustain the institutionalisation of political parties in democracies (Terracino & Hamada, 2014). The literature implies, therefore, that there is a direct correlation between the flow of private money to political parties and disclosure regulation. The higher the regulation, the less private money will flow to political parties. The lower the regulation, the higher the prospect of parties receiving private donations. Consequently, a fair deduction would be that where the disclosure regulations of private donations to political parties are low, the necessity for public funding is reduced, whereas when the disclosure requirements are high, the need for public funding is increased. To illustrate: In a 2013 study by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), it was found that political parties in Ghana successfully managed to develop and assert themselves without any public funding. In fact, the study suggests that “Ghana is one of the most competitive and relatively stable democracies with a vibrant party system in sub-Saharan Africa”. Parties are free, without limitation, to raise funds through donations. There are also no requirements for parties to disclose the identities of their donors (Magolowondo, Falguera & Matsimbe, 2013). On the other hand, political parties in Mozambique are required to annually declare their donors and the extent of each donation. In this instance they receive regular contributions from the state for both their overall functioning and for election campaigning. But the study says that the Mozambique case shows that when funds are not disbursed timeously, it has a negative impact on the competitiveness of political parties (Magolowondo, Falguera & Matsimbe, 2013). To further illustrate: Prior to the passing of the Political Parties Funding Act in South Africa, similar to Ghana, there were no funding restrictions on parties, nor any disclosure requirements. But since the inception of the Act, donors have become reluctant to donate (Letshwiti-Jones, 2022) and parties are finding it difficult to keep afloat (Moichela, 2022). Parties are now crying foul. The ruling African National Congress’ Treasurer General has, for example, bemoaned the disclosure requirements, saying that it is causing donors to steer away from contributing to the party. He has called for a greater degree of public funding to fill the gap (Friedman, 2020). The South African experience underscores the argument that the higher the disclosure requirements, the greater the need for public funding, lest the parties are neutered from effectively fulfilling their constitutional and democratic roles. 2.8 The post-1994 history of party-political funding in South Africa When ushering in the new democratic dispensation in 1994, no laws, rules and regulations were in place, nor introduced, to regulate private donations to political parties. Parties were free to solicit donations from any source and of any amount, be it local or international, and in most any form. Of course, whilst laws did not prohibit private donations, the receipt of such donations would still be subject to the normal laws of the country. It did not mean that criminal activity would be condoned. Following a number of funding scandals – which involved parties from across the political spectrum – public and civil society opinion started to form in favour of some form of regulation to be introduced. It came in the wake of allegations of corruption levied against the French arms company Thales, and various ruling party heavyweights, dominating the media headlines. It was alleged that the then Deputy President and later President, Jacob Zuma, received large sums of money as a bribe in exchange for him protecting Thales from investigations into a multi-billion rand deal for supplying weapons to South Africa (Reuters, 2021). In the early 2000’s allegations of corruption started to emerge against leaders of other political parties as well. In 2004, for example, charges were laid against New National Party leaders, who then governed the Western Cape province, for planning permission irregularities in exchange for bribes (M&G, 2004). The official opposition, the Democratic Alliance, also did not escape scrutiny. In 2002 they were accused of corruption after a German businessman, Jürgen Harksen, told an official commission that he paid more than one million rand to the then Democratic Alliance mayor of Cape Town for both his party's and his own benefit (McGreal, 2002). In 2004 the first shots were fired, when the Institute for Democratic Alternatives in South Africa (Idasa) filed papers in the Western Cape High Court, seeking an order that legislation should be introduced that would compel political parties to disclose the details of all funding they received (M&G, 2017). They failed, but in subsequent court challenges, the Western Cape High Court ruled in favour of a motion brought by “My Vote Counts”, who challenged the constitutionality of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) “insofar as it did not allow for the disclosure of information on private funding to political parties”. Parliament was given eighteen months to “remedy the defect in the PAIA to allow for disclosure of private funding for political parties” (Parliament, 2017). The Political Party Funding Act was introduced into Parliament in 2018. It was subsequently passed by Parliament and assented to by the President on 23 January 2019 (RSA, 2019a). Since the implementation of the Act, it has been a struggle for South African parties to survive financially. Bloomberg, in 2021, already reported that they are “in dire straits”. Most were unable to raise enough money to cover their operational costs (Cele, 2021). In a report released by the Independent Electoral Commission, it was reported that the ruling party, whose monthly wage bill amounted to R18 million, managed to only raise R10,7 million in the three months through to July 2012 (Cele, 2021). They were not alone. Of the country’s other 503 registered parties, it was only the ruling African National Congress, the Official Opposition Democratic Alliance, and ActionSA that received donations exceeding R100,000 (Cele, 2021). While the measure is aimed at curbing corruption, politicians have been complaining that corporates have been deterred from donating (Cele, 2021). The problem is that prior to the enactment of the PPFA, like other political parties, the ANC generated its revenue primarily from private donations. It has been reported that “between 2013 and 2017, the ANC collected R2.6-billion in donations” (Mahlaka, 2021). And as alluded to in the preceding paragraphs, these private donations have all but dried up. The drying up of private donations to the parties is in itself not a bad thing, for all the reasons elaborated on in the previous sections of this review. It is the fact that the public funding to political parties has not been materially adjusted pre- versus post-PPFA. Private funding has been cut off without the compensatory upward adjustment of the allocation to the Represented Political Parties’ Fund (RPPF), that is, the fund managed by the Independent Electoral Commission, out of which the public funding is paid over to the political parties. In Treasury’s Estimates of National Expenditure for the 2019/20 financial year (pre-PPFA), an amount of R157,8 million was allocated to the RPPF (Treasury, 2019:74). This rose marginally to R171,1 million for the 2022/23 financial year (post-PPFA) (Treasury, 2019:xiii), a mere R13,3 million per annum more three years on, amounting to no more than an inflationary adjustment. It seems, however, that some relief has been given in the 2022/23 Estimates of National Expenditure, which indicates an increase of around thirty percent on the previous year, to R342 million. In addition, the defunding has been exacerbated by the fact that funding to political parties by provincial legislatures needed to be cancelled as a consequence of the introduction of the PPFA. Some provinces, such as Gauteng Provincial Legislature, had such arrangements, but the legislation had to be repealed once the PPFA came into operation (Gauteng Provincial Legislature, 2021). 2.9 Conclusion This literature review gives rise to the question: Is South Africa’s democracy properly funded? It seems that whilst great strides have been made in improving the transparency regime, it has not gone hand-in-hand with the necessary concomitant increase in public funding. The improvement on the one hand, and not on the other, amounts to a defunding of the party-political environment, which may very well have damaged the democratic dispensation more than the transparency advancements might suggest. This requires serious and urgent contemplation, to which this study hopes to contribute. Chapter 3: The legislative review It is evident from the literature covered in the preceding Chapter that scholars, democrats, political analysts and experts consistently argue that the provision of public funds to political parties is a necessary part of a free and fair democratic dispensation. This matter has also been settled in South African law, which makes it clear that the provision of public funds to political parties for purposes of executing their constitutional and democratic responsibilities is not open for consideration and/or interpretation. Neither should it be considered a benevolent act of the Executive and/or Treasury. It is compulsory. In this legislative review, the two principal pieces of legislation reviewed are the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the Political Party Funding Act. The review will also examine the public funding afforded to the parties via the Appropriation Bill and the Parliament’s Annual Performance Plan 2022 – 2025. 3.1 The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996 3.1.1 Section 19(2) Section 19(2) of the Constitution asserts: “Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution” (RSA, 1996). In this regard the emphasis is placed on the right of every citizen to a fair election. Law Insider defines fair elections to mean: “electoral processes that are conducted in conformity with established rules and regulations, managed by an impartial, non-partisan professional and competent Electoral Management Body (EMB); in an atmosphere characterised by respect for the Rule of Law; guaranteed rights of protection for citizens through the electoral law and constitution and reasonable opportunities for voters to transmit and receive voter information; defined by equitable access to financial and material resources for all political parties and independent candidates in accordance with the national laws; and where there is no violence, intimidation or discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, religious or other considerations” (Law Insider, N.d.). In terms of this definition, the delivery of a fair election is therefore considerably more than just the technical delivery of the election. It also envisages an environment in which ideas, policies and programmes are effectively communicated to the electorate, and that sufficient opportunities are created for them and parties to connect and communicate with each other. It also pre-supposes that sufficient finances and resources will be in place for parties to carry out their functions. And that the parties have an equitable access to such financial and material resources. It cannot be, therefore, that some parties, merely as a consequence of their incumbency or policies favoured by the business community and/or the wealthy, are advantaged. Such advantage can come in the form of using the parties’ incumbency to reach out and communicate with the electorate or relying on the favour of private funders. Thus, public funding: To level the playing field and to ensure that all participants in the election have a fair chance at putting their case forward. 3.1.2 Section 57(2)(c) Section 57(2)(c) of the Constitution says: “The rules and orders of the National Assembly must provide for … financial and administrative assistance to each party represented in the Assembly in proportion to its representation, to enable the party and its leader to perform their functions in the Assembly effectively” (RSA, 1996). In this regard, the emphasis is placed on the enabling of parties represented in Parliament to perform their functions. Parliament of South Africa’s Policy on Political Parties Allowances is meant to give effect to section 57(2) of the Constitution. The policy’s objective is to, amongst others, assist parties represented in Parliament to perform their parliamentary duties, and to enable the parties to establish and maintain infrastructure that enables them to serve the interests of their constituents, as well as to service them (Parliament, 2005). The allowances are meant to cover the parties’ expenditure in relation to their parliamentary functioning, and include: Party leader allowances Political party administration allowances, which are based on a determination of staff and other entitlements made by the Secretary to Parliament on an annual basis. Party constituency allowances, which are paid to the parties and not the individual members of Parliament. The Presiding Officers annually determine an amount per member. Parties receive a constituency allowance equal to the annually determined amount multiplied by the number of their representatives in Parliament. 3.1.3 Section 59(1)(a) Section 57(1)(a) of the Constitution states: “The National Assembly must facilitate public involvement in the legislative and other processes or the Assembly and its committees” (RSA, 1996). To this end, parliamentary and Provincial Legislature portfolios and select committees provide opportunities for public participation in debating the proposed policy or law (ETU, N.d.). Apart from political parties participating in the legislatures through their public representatives, they are principally civil society organisations that encapsulate the interests, views and ideas of a certain group (or groups) within society. They articulate and represent these groups by participating in democratic elections, but they also, as a civil society contestant, sometimes independently and sometimes in collaboration with other civil society organisations, present these interests to formal political representatives and institutions (Mexhuani & Rrahmani, 2017). This is necessary to ensure the timely exchange of information between the legislators, the government and the public about problems and their solutions. And for civil society to take part in the country’s public affairs, to contribute to the development of the government policy- and law-creating procedures and to exert influence on the decision-making that will affect them and broader society (Aitken, 2013:19). Given the constitutional weight afforded to public participation in the legislative and other processes of Parliament, it is fair to deduce that meaningful (as opposed to superficial) contributions are expected from the public (and civil society). The development of their contributions requires from them well-developed, consulted, and empirically researched proposals to present to the Legislatures (and might I add, Executive, who themselves follow similar consultative processes when developing policy and legislation). Well-researched legislation and policy requires accuracy (Aitken, 2013:5), certainty, predictability (Aitken, 2013:7) and detailed analysis as to the likely impact of the legislation/policy, and its ability to achieve the desired regulatory results (Aitken, 2013:6), which requires considerable participatory and transparent policy processes and (Aitken, 2013:7), might I add, research by well-qualified experts. Proper participatory processes comprise the holding of discussions, open dialogue participation, consultations, workshops and seminars, with input from government officials and agencies, parliamentarians, civil society, international advisers, independent experts, the private sector, academics and the public (Aitken, 2013:19). All of which require political parties to have adequate funding or networked collaboration, which collaborators, in turn, will require funding. 3.1.4 Section 236 Section 236 of the Constitution says: “To enhance multi-party democracy, national legislation must provide for the funding of political parties participating in national and provincial legislatures on an equitable and proportional basis” (RSA, 1996). The legislation envisaged by this section of the Constitution is the Political Party Funding Act, Act 6 of 2018, the details of which is deliberated on in paragraph 3.2 hereunder. 3.2 Political Party Funding Act, Act 6 of 2018 The Political Party Funding Act, Act 6 of 2018 (PPFA), was assented to by the President of the Republic of South Africa on 21 January 2021 (RSA, 2021). With its introduction, the political party funding environment was completely changed. It introduced a new era of transparency in terms of who is funding the political parties. It will also help guard against corruption and the misuse of state resources. All of which needs to be applauded in an open and free democratic society. What was not envisaged was the spectacular collapse of private funding to political parties. This has all but dried up to the extent, as has been discussed, that the official opposition has, for example, had to retrench a significant portion of its staff, and the ruling party has run up huge debts and is not able to regularly pay its staff; indeed, its operations have been hamstrung. The celebration with regard to the ushering in of transparency, now needs to be balanced against the danger to the country of a weakening democratic dispensation due to neutering of the parties’ ability to effectively carry out the work, due to a lack of financial and other resources. What does the Act say? For purposes of this review the focus is on the three areas in the Act that impact party funding, namely, the direct funding to parties and the imposition of prohibitions, the establishment of the Represented Political Party Fund, and the establishment of the Multi-Party Democracy Fund. 3.2.1 Direct funding of political parties 3.2.1.1 Prohibited donations Political parties may no longer receive donations from foreign sources, be they foreign governments and/or agencies, foreign persons or entities. There is one exception, namely that they may accept grants for the purposes of training and skills development, and/or policy development. But this is subject to an annual cap that an entity may contribute, which currently stands at R5 million (RSA, 2021). The parties may also not receive funding from any organ of state or state-owned enterprise, albeit that this was the case prior to the introduction of this legislation as well (RSA, 2021). They may also not receive any donations that they know, ought to have known, or suspect, originated from sources of crime (RSA, 2021). 3.2.1.2 Donations from juristic persons A political party must disclose any donation it receives from a natural or juristic person that exceeds the threshold. The current threshold is R100,000 received from any single entity within a financial year (RSA, 2021). Furthermore, no entity may donate more than R15 million to a political party within a financial year (RSA, 2021). 3.2.2 Represented Political Party Fund Section 2 of the PPFA provides for the establishment of a Represented Political Party Fund (RPPF). Its purpose is to promote multi-party democracy through the provision of public funding to those parties that are represented in Parliament (RSA, 2021). Money is appropriated annually by an Act of Parliament and is distributed to the parties by means of a prescribed formula that, in part, provides for a weighted equitable distribution to parties represented in the national parliament and provincial legislatures. The second part provides for a distribution to the parties represented in the National Assembly and provincial legislatures based on their proportional strength in terms of the numbers of members represented in both the National Assembly and provincial legislatures. Currently, one-third is distributed equitably to all parties that hold seats in the National Assembly or any provincial legislature; and two-thirds is distributed in proportion to seats held by a political party in the National Assembly or provincial legislatures (IEC, N.d.). Section 7 of the PPFA spells out what parties may and may not use the monies received form the RPPF for (RSA, 2021). They may use it for: Activities aimed at developing the political will of the people Shaping public opinion Political education Promoting the active participation of citizens in political life Influencing political trends Ensuring connectivity between the citizenry and organs of state Expenditure aimed at ensuring compliance with the PPFA They may not use it for: Remunerating any person that represents the party in any legislature or municipal council, or who receives remuneration for any appointment or service rendered to the state The financing of or contributing to anything that is in contravention of any code of ethics aimed at binding members of Parliament or members of a provincial legislature Establishing a business of any kind, or to acquire or maintain a financial interest therein, except where it is for the purposes of acquiring property to be used solely by the party and for party political purposes Defraying legal costs that relate to internal political party disputes 3.2.3 Multi-Party Democracy Fund Section 3 of the PPFA provides for the establishment of a Multi-Party Democracy Fund, the proceeds of which are to be distributed to represented political parties for purposes of promoting democracy (RSA, 2021). The fund may receive contributions in any amount from any private source within or outside of the country. It may, however, not receive any money from an organ of state, state-owned enterprise, foreign government or foreign government agency. In addition, interest earned by the fund and irregular donations made to political parties which are recovered, are also distributable to the represented parties (RSA, 2021). Donors making contributions to the Multi-Party Democracy Fund may request the regulator not to disclose their identity (RSA, 2021). The funds are allocated to the parties using the same formula as that of the RPPF. Similarly, the rules in terms of what the monies can and cannot be spent on are the same as those of the RPPF (RSA, 2021). 3.3 Appropriation Bill B7-2022 and Parliament’s Annual Performance Plan 2022–2025 The purpose of this section is to ascertain the degree of public funding given to the political parties in a financial year. It examines the Appropriation Bill B7-2022 and Parliament’s Annual Performance Plan 2022–2025, with specific reference to the amounts allocated to political parties. Direct public funding is channelled to parties through these two avenues only. 3.3.1 Appropriation Bill B7-2022 In the Appropriation Bill B7-2022 (RSA, 2022), there are two allocations that bear reference to the question posed in this study. Firstly, the Bill provides an allocation to Parliament, and secondly, it provides an allocation to the Independent Electoral Commission. It is these two institutions that transfer monies to the political parties. The following allocations were made in the Appropriation Bill: For the purposes of providing support services required by Parliament to fulfil its constitutional functions, and to assist the political parties represented in Parliament with facilities and administrative support, and to service their constituents, Parliament was allocated an amount of R2,212,234,000 (two billion two hundred and twelve million two hundred and thirty-four thousand rand). For purposes of providing institutional support and transfer funds to the Electoral Commission, the Represented Political Parties' Fund and the Border Management Authority, an amount of R2,762,584,000 (two billion seven hundred and sixty-two million five hundred and eighty-four thousand rand) was allocated. Of this, R342,077,000 (three hundred and forty-two million and seventy-seven thousand rand) was allocated to the Representative Political Parties’ Fund. 3.3.2 Parliament’s Annual Performance Plan 2022–2025 Programme 3 of Parliament’s Annual Performance Plan 2022/23 to 2024/25 provides for the transfer in the amount of R518,572,000 (five hundred and eighteen million five hundred and seventy-two thousand rand) during the 2022/23 financial year, the application of which has been spelt out in paragraph 3.1.2. of this review. The actual net amount transferred to parties in the 2022/23 financial year amounted to R511,869,648 (five hundred and eleven million eight hundred and sixty-nine thousand six hundred and forty eight rand) (Parliament, 2022). 3.4 Conclusion Direct public funding in South Africa is allocated to political parties via three avenues: the RPPF, Multi-Party Democracy Fund (of which there has been no distribution to date) and Parliament, the quantum of which is indicated in Table 3.1. below. The number of eligible and soon-to-be eligible voters – that is, citizens over the age of 15 – number around 43,587,000 according to Statista (2022a), whereas the number of registered voters number 26,046,612 (IEC, N.d.). This means than an amount of R19,59 per annum per citizen over 15, or R32,78 per annum per registered voter, is set aside from public funds to support political parties. Table 3.1.: Transfer of public funds to political parties per citizen over 15 and registered voter *Note: These figures are in relation to the national sphere of government. See study limitation in Chapter 4. Chapter 4: Research design and methodology As already stated, the introduction of the new party-political funding regime seems to have negatively impacted the political parties’ ability to raise funding from private sources. This has made them far more dependent on state funding, which, according to reports, seems not to be adequate, in that parties are not being able to meet their financial obligations. Consequently, they are not empowered to carry out their democratic and constitutionally imposed responsibilities and obligations properly and effectively. The introduction of regulations with regard to the private funding of political parties may have improved transparency, but at the same time it may also very well prove to disable parties from carrying out their functions effectively. In order for parties to effectively represent the constituents in Parliament, they need to have the organisational infrastructure to regularly interact with the electorate, and the capacity to do research, policy development and the marketing of their policy positions. All of which requires money. This is deployed to, for example: Develop the political will of the people Bring the party's influence to bear on the shaping of public opinion Inspire and further political education Promote active participation by individual citizens in political life Exercise an influence on political trends Ensure continuous and vital links between the people and organs of state (IEC, N.d.) 4.1 Research objective The objective of this research is to examine the South African party-funding environment in comparison to a selected group of parties from the European Union. The purpose is to ascertain how the South African political party funding regime compares to these international jurisdictions. The purpose is to provide public policymakers with benchmark information to enable them to consider the appropriateness of the current funding regime and to motivate for adjustments thereto, should it be found that the current model is wanting. 4.2 Research question Primary research question What comprises South Africa’s party-political funding regime and how does it compare with the party-funding regimes of Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands? Secondary research question Compared with the public funding regimes of the other countries of this study, are the South African political parties sufficiently funded to effectively carry out their democratic and constitutional obligations? 4.3 Research design The research takes a pragmatic approach in which both qualitative and quantitative methods were deployed during the course of the research. Qualitative research – “that is, non-numerical examination and interpretation of observations” (Babbie & Mouton, 2017:646) – was, for example, deployed to discover and understand the elements and extent of state funding of the political parties in both the European dispensations chosen for the benchmarking, as well as that of South Africa. Quantitative research – that is, the numerical representation and manipulation (Babbie & Mouton, 2017:646) – was, for example, used to measure the financial variances between the different state funding models and to convert the various financial quanta to equivalent purchasing power parity (PPP) in order to equalise the purchasing power of different currencies, by eliminating the differences in price levels between the foreign countries and South Africa. It was also needed to determine the per capita cost of state funding in each of the jurisdictions. 4.4 Research subjects The research subjects were the political parties of the countries that formed part of this study. The objective was to obtain data as to all the funding streams for funding the activities of the parties, and the extent thereof. The countries were selected using matching selection – that is, by comparing the similarities between the subjects to be selected (Babbie & Mouton, 2017:213). In this study the similarities were the electoral system – proportional representation. Whilst it is also important to consider the bearing of the different socio-economic conditions between that of South Africa and the developed world, the overriding consideration was that the quality of democracy should not be undermined based purely on affordability, since such considerations could potentially undermine the democratic ethos in the country. Costs were, however, as mentioned, converted to equalise the buying power differences between the countries. 4.5 Measurement The study required three measurements. The first was to measure the extent of party funding in each of the jurisdictions. This was to ascertain all the types of funding and the financial extent of that funding in each of the jurisdictions. This called for qualitative data, given the descriptive nature of the data (OSU, N.d.). It was obtained directly from the political parties, foundations and electoral commissions interviewed. The second measurement was to determine what the differences were between the jurisdictions in terms of the various sources of funding. This too was qualitative in nature. The third measurement was to determine the comparative cost per citizen (15+) to fund the parties. This was quantitative in nature, since it required measurable numeric information (OSU, N.d.). There were two dimensions to this measurement: (i) the conversion of the quantum in each jurisdiction in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) in order to ensure that an apples-for-apples comparison between the jurisdictions would be achieved, and (ii) to determine the per capita percentage differentiation between the various jurisdictions. This enabled an interpretation as to the adequacy of the South African funding regime compared with the practices in the benchmarked countries. 4.6 Data collection In-person expert interviews were undertaken in each of the benchmarking countries with the treasurers (or their delegated representatives) of a major political party in the particular country, and/or the electoral commission in the country. The purpose was to get a holistic understanding of the funding regimes in each country. It also served to identify all the elements of funding for parties in the particular country and the quantum thereof. To this end, both the qualitative and quantitative data were secured through open-ended questions, in order to allow for a holistic and comprehensive look at the issues being studied, since open-ended questions allowed for the respondents to provide all options and opinions related to the topic, thereby ensuring more diversity and elaboration than would be possible with a closed-question or forced-choice survey format (Allen, 2017). The questionnaire used in this regard is shown hereunder: 1) Questions to be posed to interviewees a) Are there restrictions of private donations to political parties, and if so: b) What are the laws governing those restrictions? 2) What do the restrictions entail? a) What are the various forms of public funding that parties are entitled to? b) Directly to the party c) Directly to elected representatives d) To the groups within Parliament e) Reimbursement for election expenses f) Any other 3) What is the monetary value of each of the aforementioned funding contributions? 4) How is the funding divided and distributed to the parties and/or elected representatives? 5) Are there any election campaign spending caps, and if so, what? 6) Are there any incentives in place to encourage individuals/corporates to make donations to political parties, such as, for example, tax incentives? 7) Is there any indirect funding in place, such as, for example, free media slots, and if so: a) What are the rules? b) What is the value? c) How is it divided and distributed to the parties? 8) Are there any public funds made available to institutions, foundations, etcetera, which stand independent from the political parties, but which are ideologically aligned with parties, such as the political foundations in Germany and other European countries who stimulate the public policy dialogue, democracy and human rights through the lens of the ideological orientation, and if so: a) What is the rationale behind those contributions? b) How does it work? c) From which government departments and/or institutions are the funds dispersed? d) How are the contributions divided/distributed to the various institutions, foundations, etcetera? e) What is the monetary value of the contributions from each department and/or institution? 9) In terms of private versus public funding of political parties, what is, in your estimation, the ratio between the two? Indicate by marking the correct statement: Note: Private finding includes membership fees and contributions by trade unions. (10) Are there any other factors that you believe should be taken into account? 4.7 Analysis Various multivariate tables were constructed, which comprised a number of independent variables (the different jurisdictions) and a range of dependent variables (the funding streams available in each jurisdiction) (Babbie & Mouton:435). This enabled the researcher to do a comparative analysis on the similarities and differences between the various systems. In some instances, the tables were simultaneously multiple in nature, since they, in addition to the qualitative data mentioned above, also provided for quantitative data – that is, the quantum of the various funding streams available in each jurisdiction. In the final instance, the researcher interpreted the table in terms of: the elements of state funding that are available in each of the benchmarking countries, including those elements that are not available in South Africa, together with an analysis of the amounts provided by the state to fund each of the elements the per capita cost of party funding by the state, based on PPP, for each of the countries whereafter: in that the researcher had been exposed to the implicit and explicit facts related to the various funding regimes (Babbie & Mouton, 2017:641), the researcher was able to make a determination through deduction reasoning as to the adequacy of the South African funding dispensation in comparison to the benchmarked countries the researcher developed recommendations for public policymakers to ponder. 4.8 Ethics Whereas the data, such as the types and quantum of state funding, are available in the public domain, formal ethics clearance was not required. However, since some financial information, especially that which relates to private funding or commercial activities, was confidential, the financial analysis was restricted to public funding only. 4.9 Limitation of the study This study has only examined the public funding of political parties at the national level. It has not ventured into public fund transfers to political parties at the provincial and/or municipal level of government. The assessment therefore relates to public funds transfers to the parties at the national and the national parliamentary levels only. That said, in the comparative analysis, all jurisdictions were treated in similar fashion, resulting in a like-for-like comparison. The author is therefore confident that the conclusions reached will be valid for the purposes of the study, that is, to draw conclusions as to how South Africa’s public funding of political parties compares with those of the other international jurisdictions against which it was assessed. 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  • Efficacy of the national policy in the provision of low-cost housing

    Copyright © 2022 Inclusive Society Institute 50 Long Street Cape Town, 8001 South Africa All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute. DISCLAIMER Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or those of the their respective Board or Council members. Efficacy of the National Housing Policy in the provision of low-cost housing in the Metropolitan Municipalities of South Africa by Moloto Johannes Sekhobela [M.Sc (Public Finance Management), M.Com (Economics)] Abstract The primary aim of the national housing policy is to create sustainable communities and to improve the quality of life for the people of South Africa through the provision of housing. This paper will examine the efficacy of the national housing policy in the provision of low-cost housing in the metropolitan municipalities of South Africa, by using the Shift-Share Analysis of informal settlements and the housing backlog, based on information obtained from Rex-Data of Global Insight (2021). An increase in informal settlements and the housing backlog signify policy ineffectiveness while a decrease in informal settlements and the housing backlog indicate policy effectiveness. The Shift-Share Analysis is a technique used to understand regional contributions to the development of a national economy, in terms of the regional economy, political economy, urban studies, geography and marketing. South Africa has eight metropolitan municipalities spread across five of the nine provinces: City of Cape Town (Western Cape Province); eThekwini (Kwa-Zulu Natal Province); Mangaung (Free State Province); Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City (Eastern Cape Province); and Ekurhuleni , City of Johannesburg , and City of Tshwane (Gauteng Province). The national housing policy was found, on average, to be effective. However, the individual metros indicate otherwise. In six of the eight metros i.e. City of Cape Town (CPT), eThekwini (ETH), Ekurhuleni (EKU), Nelson Mandela Bay (NMA), City of Tshwane (TSH) and Buffalo City (BUF) the policy was effective while in the remaining two, City of Johannesburg (JHB) and Mangaung (MAN), the policy was ineffective. Key words - National housing policy, shift-share analysis, metropolitan municipalities, informal settlements and housing backlog Introduction The objective of this study is to examine the efficacy of the national housing policy in delivering low-cost housing in the Metropolitan Municipalities of South Africa, that is, City of Cape Town (CPT), eThekwini (ETH), Mangaung (MAN), Nelson Mandela Bay (NMA), Buffalo City (BUF), Ekurhuleni (EKU), City of Johannesburg (JHB), and City of Tshwane (TSH). ( RSA, 2019). Increased urbanisation, population growth and migration to big cities led to high rates of unemployment, poverty, homelessness and an increase in informal settlements, (Govender & Reddy, 2019). Levenson (2019) estimated the proportion of urban to rural population in South Africa to be 69% / 31% in 2020, 70% / 30% in 2030, 72% / 28% in 2040 and 80% / 20% in 2050. The African National Congress (ANC) government introduced a White Paper on Housing as a response to the housing challenges faced by the majority of black South Africans. The provision of low-cost housing is intended to afford poor communities access to the property market, wealth creation, address market failures and reduce asset poverty. A fixed-amount capital subsidy of R1500 is provided to households earning R3500 per month and below, to build a (15x20) m2 house, as a way of offering a sustainable human settlement, healthy environment and sustainable livelihoods (Amisi, Marais & Cloete, 2018; Ojo-Aromokudu & Loggia, 2017) Housing is not only a basic, fundamental human right but it adds to people’s sense of belonging, ownership, identity, citizenship and self-sufficiency. Adequate housing includes the need for privacy and personal space, security and protection from harsh environmental elements, social development and integration. The number of people living in informal settlements and the size of the housing backlog reflects the challenges in housing provision for the poor (Marutlulle, 2021). Overview of housing in South Africa Housing Mandate The Department of Human Settlements (DHS) derives its mandate from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996). Section 26 of the Constitution deals with housing and states that everyone must enjoy the right to adequate housing and the state must ensure the progressive realisation of this right and that no one must be evicted or have their homes demolished without an order of court (RSA, 1996). Policy, legislative framework and strategic objectives The policy and legislative framework of the DHS (RSA, 2020) includes, but is not limited to the: White Paper on Housing (1994), Comprehensive Plan for the Development of Sustainable Human Settlements (2004), Housing Consumer Protection Measures Act (1998), Rental Housing Act (1999), Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure Act (2000), Housing Code (2000), Social Housing Policy (2005), Social Housing Act (2008), Property Practitioners Act (2019), Housing Development Agency Act (2008), Community Schemes Ombudsman Services Act (2011) and Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (2013). Housing challenges Misuse of low-cost houses Low-cost houses are intended to improve the living conditions of the poor by providing a safe and stable place of abode that may enhance their prosperity, health and education. However, some homeowners misuse these low-cost houses by selling them without following proper procedures, renting them out unlawfully, turning them into business dwellings without permission and making additions and/or alterations that violate the municipal by-laws and regulations (Charlton, 2018). State capacity to provide low-cost housing The municipalities are unable to deliver housing to low-income households due to the lack of human and financial capacity, contradictory national policies, mandate creep and poor inter-governmental coordination (Gumede, 2021). Poor delivery of low-cost houses stems from lack of accountability, absence of performance and consequence management and lack of consultation with beneficiary communities. The above failures lead to corruption in granting of housing subsidies, selection of building contractors and allocation of houses to the rightful beneficiaries resulting in duplication, wastage, unfinished infrastructure projects such as schools, roads, bridges and dams (Marutlulle, 2021; Gumede, 2021). Gumede (2021) posits firstly, that reciprocal cooperation between the state, communities, business, organised labour and non-governmental organisations determines the capacity of the state to deliver basic services including housing. Secondly, a zero-tolerance policy against corruption, high levels of policy coordination, planning, implementation, and a functional monitoring and evaluation system. Availability of land Acquisition of land and housing delivery is hampered by the slow, complex identification and allocation of developed land, the government’s reluctance to deal decisively with private land ownership and land speculation. The lack of urban development strategies and the failure of the national government to regulate land markets exacerbates the problem (Marutlulle, 2021). Housing policies post-1994 increased spatial inequalities by building houses for the poor on the outskirts of cities, increasing their transport costs and the cost of accessing public and social services such as education, health and employment (Knipe, 2019). As a result, the housing backlog grows bigger than delivery in every major city, because of the growing gap between housing provision and the demand, fiscal constraints, and over-reliance on private consultants (Levenson, 2019). Literature review Pre-neoliberalism Before neoliberalism, good housing consisted of government regulated land and housing policies, subsidised construction, strong tenant protections and high-quality housing standards (Listerborn, Molina & Richard, 2020). Governments provided land, housing and finance directly to beneficiaries for servicing of sites and upgrading of informal settlements. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations Habitat influenced housing policies in developing countries in the 1970s because they were struggling with the provision of housing for low-income groups. (Taruvinga & Mooya, 2018). However, these housing programmes became unsuccessful due to land acquisition problems, lack of financial sustainability, poor cost recovery and replicability problems for the infrastructure (Taruvinga & Mooya, 2018). In order to overcome the housing challenges, low-income households resorted to self-organised buildings because of their lack of income or access to mortgage finance and credit (Grubbaer, 2019). Neoliberal housing policies Governments moved from direct provision of housing to policies that are market-oriented because of cost over-runs, failed subsidy allocation and designs that compromised adequate housing for the poor. The state became an enabler rather than a provider by creating a legal and institutional framework conducive for private- sector home building for low-income households (Taruvinga & Mooya, 2018). According to Beswick, Imilan & Olivera (2019), neoliberalism entails the interaction of the state, private sector, and financial institutions in providing a market-based housing solution to the poor. The state provides a regulatory and institutional framework that creates conditions that are conducive for the private sector to participate. During the 1990s and 2000s, Latin American countries moved away from direct state provision of public housing towards market provision where the emphasis is on home-ownership and the housing finance system. Taruvinga & Mooya (2018) argue that neoliberal housing policy favours minimum government intervention in the housing market, promotes home-ownership, private property rights and binding financial commitments. Governments provide instruments that address constraints in property rights development, access to mortgage finance, subsidy rationalisation and infrastructure for residential land development, land regulations and organisation of the building industry. Neoliberalism stimulates economic growth by promoting homeownership, subsiding developers and agencies, driving use-value (basic need) and exchange value (asset). The state acts as a private company, which uses economic growth as its social policy to solve social and housing crises (Di Feliciantonio & Aalbers, 2017; Listerborn et al., 2020). Neoliberalism: challenges faced by developing countries Access to mortgage finance and credit by the poor The World Bank, IMF and the UN-Habitat use neoliberalism to target struggling developing countries with huge public debts, decreasing public finance and increasing welfare burden. Neoliberalism promotes the building of houses for middle and high-income groups as a way of capital accumulation to the exclusion of the poor through high house prices and the inability of the low-income households to access mortgage finance and credit (Sengupta, 2019). Socio-spatial practices Neoliberal social housing models result in unequal socio-spatial practices in the provision of social housing. The poor are displaced to the periphery of cities where land is cheap resulting in gentrification, social exclusion and uneven socio-spatial segregation, leading to a compromise in human sustainable development, community empowerment and environmental quality. The vulnerable groups’ cost of accessing public and social amenities such as public transport, health, education and employment increases as result (Dattwyler, Rivas & Link, 2019; Stiphany & Ward, 2019). In instances where low-income communities have a perception that their constitutional rights to adequate housing are denied and their sense of belonging is diminished, they may resort to informal settlements and slums as a solution to their housing problems (Lata, 2020). Public housing: a social or economic concept? Housing policies should have a social rather than an economic character. The capitalist approach to maximise the exchange value of housing at the expense of use-value undermines governments’ objective of providing affordable or social housing to low-income groups. Markets reduce housing to an economic rather than a social one, because of the profit motive (Shimbo, 2019; Santoro, 2019). Economic stability Taruvinga & Mooya (2018) contend that market stability and by extension economic stability is a prerequisite for long-term, low-cost housing finance by the private sector. The inability of developing countries to effectively and efficiently implement neoliberal housing policy in the low-income segment may be due to, inter alia, macroeconomic instability, fluctuating inflation, foreign exchange risk, and short-term investment horizons. Methodology The traditional and static shift-share analysis method and the Rex-Database of Global Insight (2021) are used in this study to conduct an empirical investigation into the efficacy of South Africa’s National housing policy in the provision of low-cost housing in the metropolitan municipalities of South Africa. The shift-share analysis method seeks to determine the change in a system by comparing the change in an area of interest with a relevant reference region. Change is sub-divided into three components, that is, National Growth or Share, Industry Mix or Structural Effect, and Competitive Share or Regional Shift (Lingzhi, 2021; Tissot-Daguette & Grether, 2021). According to Melchor-Ferrer (2020) and Li and Fang (2019), shift-share is a method that was originally designed to analyse changes in regional employment mapped against national or provincial growth but was later applied to various other fields of the economy. This method can also be used to quantify the development of an industry in a region and comparatively analyse it against the regional average. The shift-share analysis method has been criticised by Firgo and Fritz (2016) for its failure to determine a region’s performance independent of its sectoral structure. Thus, the dynamic regression shift-share analysis is recommended as a remedy. Empirical results Equation (1) defines Total Change in Regional informal settlements (R) as the sum of National Share Effect (N), Industry Mix Effect (M) and Regional Competitive Effect (S). R = N + M + S (1) Total National Informal Settlements change is defined as: IS (v) = IS (f) –IS (i) (2) Where IS (v) is the change in absolute terms, IS (f) is the total in the final period and IS (i) is the total in the initial period. % change in National share: IS (%) = [(IS (f) – IS (i)/ IS (i))*100] (3) The total change in Regional (metropolitan) informal settlements (Rm) is the difference between informal settlements in the final and initial periods Rm = Mf – Mi (4) Where R is the total change, Mf is the informal settlements in the final period while Mi is informal settlements in the initial period. The percentage of total regional change growth is represented by: Rm (%) = [(Mf - Mi)/Mi)*100] (5) The national share effect (N) is determined by: N = Mi1[ IS %] + Mi2[IS %] + . . . . + Min[IS %] (6) Where N is the total national effect of informal settlements, M is informal settlements in metropolitans 1, 2 . . ., up to n, in the initial period i and IS (%) is the national average informal settlements growth rate. Thus, the industry mix effect (M), is defined as: M = MR1 (Mi1) + MR2 (Mi2) + . . . . + MRn (Min) (7) Where M is the industry mix, MR is the marginal rate of growth in metropolitans 1, 2, 3…up to n and Mi is the metropolitans’ informal settlement in the initial year. Informal Settlements Table 5.1.1 below, summarises the changes in national informal settlements for the period from 2009 to 2018. Table 5.1.1 Changes in National Informal Settlements, 2009-2018 Source: Rex Data, 2021 (Author’s own calculations) IS (%) is equal to -10% according to Table 5.1.1. above. This means that the national average growth in informal settlements decreased by 10%. Four provinces had growths, EC (46%), KZN (16%), NC (10%) and LIM (9%) while five provinces declined, FS (-31%), GP (-22%), MP (-21%), NW (-19%) and WC (-8%). The changes in the metros’ informal settlements for the period from 2009 to 2018 are summarised in Table 5.1.2 below. The total informal settlements R (%) decline is -28%. This means that informal settlements in the metros are declining at approximately two and half times more than the national average of -10%. Informal settlements are declining in all metros in the following order, with the highest being NMA (-69%), and the lowest CPT (-9%). The decline in eight Metros is high with double digits and CPT is the only one with a single digit. Of note is the decline in the EC metros, NMA and BUF that are above 60%, followed by ETH in K