CONSTITUTIONAL COMMENTARY AND EVENTS

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ARTICLE: WHOSE HERITAGE?

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Today is Heritage Day. This day was placed on the calendar after the 1994 negotiated settlement. The celebrations differ from South African to South African, but on the first commemoration of Heritage Day in 1995, President Nelson Mandela said the day was introduced because the government realised that “our rich and diverse cultural heritage has the power to help us build our new nation”. Heritage is therefore not only intended to celebrate diversity, but also to help build unity.

It is interesting that 24 September was initially not on the list of public holidays when the Public Holidays Bill was presented in Parliament in 1995. The Inkatha Freedom Party insisted that this day, upon which the Zulu nation traditionally celebrated Shaka Day (commemorating the Zulu King’s conciliatory role between the different Zulu tribes), be added to the list of public holidays. The compromise accepted was that the day would be called Heritage Day – and would apply to all South Africans, and not just to the Zulus.

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ARTICLE: CAN CYRIL AND TITO’S ECONOMIC KITE FLY?

The Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) issued a report on 28 August entitled “Running out of Road: South Africa’s public finances and what is to be done”. They conclude that if South Africa does not overcome its fiscal crisis, there will be no accelerated economic growth. However, the opposite is also true: if we don’t start growing the economy, we will not be able to cope with the fiscal crisis. South Africa needs an uncompromising growth strategy, which must be applied strictly. CDE Chief Ann Bernstein warns that Government and the ruling party do not seem to fully realise how profound the changes are that are needed and how much leadership it will take from the President to get it right.

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ARTICLE: ELIMINATE THE IMPRESSION OF WRONGDOING, MR PRESIDENT

ARMY opt

The relentless saga surrounding the CR17 presidential campaign’s funding is still in full swing. For ordinary South Africans, it is clear that the Public Protector (PP) has it in for President Ramaphosa and some of his supporters, especially Pravin Gordhan and Derek Hanekom. And the leaked information about the donors and recipients of some of these funds raises quite a few questions.

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