e-News bulletin 23 Feb 2018

 
E-NEWS BULLETIN 23 February 2018 Links to present possibilities
Editorial
In his National Budget speech on Wednesday, the Finance Minister took the hard road that the new President pointed down last week with the State of the Nation address, stripped of the promises for radical economic transformation. Yes, free higher education, if only for students from households with a combined income of R350,000, is a step forward and testament to the #Feesmustfall struggle. But this is not a sign of a progressive budget; it is its fig lead since the concession is to be funded by cutbacks in social spending.

With the decline in government revenue, Minister Gigaba has turned to cutting basic education infrastructure expenditure by R14-billion over the next 3 years in real terms, Health infrastructure by R1.2-billion and Human Settlements by R9-billion. And casting the revenue net widest with the 1% hike in VAT, the budget gouges the revenue shortfall from the poor.

Typical of neoliberal economics, the austerity is bargained as the pain that must be inflicted to attract foreign direct investment and for the economy to grow. This faith in monopoly industries, particularly mining, to deliver job-creating growth is a ruse. The betrayal of that faith needs no longer iteration than the whole history of their 'investment' in the country. This is no new dawn as heralded by Ramaphosa - it's just the view from the bottom of the pit, that he and the ruling ANC wants the country to continue digging.
SOUTH AFRICA

The National Budget: Ramaphosa and Gigaba have allowed a good crisis go to waste

The national budget announced by the Finance Minister on Wednesday is GEAR-like, in the deep cuts in expenditure and the reliance on anti-poor tax policies. The industrial strategy it envisages is based on mining and related heavy industries somehow becoming “sunrise” industries. In fact, their time has passed. There will be no significant rise of the gold, platinum, coal and iron sectors. aidc.org.za/

cyril gigaba36 Civil Society Organisations reject proposed increase in VAT: Tax the wealthy to invest in our future!

An increase in VAT will mean less value for your buck; those with the least money will suffer the most. An increase in VAT will mean the unemployed will have to pay even more for their basic essentials. It is an attack on the poor that South Africa cannot afford. If an increase in VAT is a symbol of what the future holds under Ramaphosa it will mean harder times for South Africa’s poor. aidc.org.za/

Cyril RamaposerOut with the old, in with the not so new

Shawn Hattingh (Ilrig) in this article looks at the structural reasons why Ramaphosa replacing Zuma as the head of state in South Africa won't end corruption. libcom.org/

 

INTERNATIONAL


US media racism

Global Labor Community Calls for End to Politically Motivated Prosecution of Tola Moeun

moeun tolaProsecutors in Cambodia are prosecuting a renowned labor rights leader and advocates for press freedom. This has stirred a global solildarity campaign, centred on the sweatshop conditions of work in Cambodia's textile industry. laborrights.org/
PALESTINE

gazaGaza ‘on brink of collapse’ as residents remain ‘caged in’ – author Norman Finkelstein

"Ninety-five percent of the water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption. Each day, when a child drinks water, the child is poisoning him- or herself but they can't leave." rt.com/

Building Bridges: The ‘two-state solution - did it ever mean more than an expanding colonial state, Israel ruling over a Palestinian Bantustan? [AUDIO]

with
Jeff Halper Coordinator of the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions and author of War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification
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To Download or listen to this 28:02 minute program,
Local news from Khayelitsha, East London, Port Elizabeth, Alexandra and Orange Farm in English and isiXhosa
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NEW TECHNOLOGIES / NEW FORMS OF LABOUR

brian actonWhatsapp co-founder puts $50m into Signal to supercharge encrypted messaging

In the four or so years since it launched, end-to-end encrypted messaging app Signal has become the security community's gold standard for surveillance-resistant communications. wired.com/


amazonFrom Whole Foods to Amazon, Invasive Technology Controlling Workers Is More Dystopian Than You Think

Amazon has received a patent for ultrasonic wristbands that could track the movement of warehouse workers’ hands during their shifts. inthesetimes.com/
ENVIRONMENT

Are Modern Cities Sustainable?

city scapeAround half of the world’s population, now live in cities. By 2050 that percentage is expected to rise to 75%. There are already 10 hypercities, each housing more than 20 million people, which was the size of the population of the entire world at the time of the French Revolution. counterpunch.org/
EDUCATION

An[other] look at vocational and community education [1.5MB pdf]

This booklet is about the relationship between vocational and community education. Part Two of the booklet deals specifically with education - it looks at how vocational and community education are generally understood and then offers some alternative ideas, understandings and examples of what we think they are and could be. wwmp.org.za/
HISTORY

malcolm xThe Political Legacy of Malcolm X

February 21 marks the 50th anniversary of the public assassination of Malcolm X. He remains a towering figure in the pantheon of the 20th century revolutionaries who sought to end the systems of oppression and degradation. This generation is engaged in a struggle to define and preserve their humanity in the face of cold-blooded indifference to their suffering under capitalism and racism. Let us examine the final 11 months of Malcolm’s life and legacy.

socialistalternative.org/
Disclaimer:

This newsletter is intended as a special and alternative news, information and knowledge source for all who are interested in issues relevant to promoting political, social and economic equality and the eradication of poverty. The articles contained herein are obtained from various electronic media platforms and do not necessarily reflect the views of WWMP.

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