E-NEWS BULLETIN 2 February 2018Links to present possibilities
Editorial The announcement last week of the much delayed commission of inquiry into state capture comes at a time when the influence of private businesses over the South African government is being highlighted as corruption of democratic institutions since 1994. Sampie Terreblanche, the economist and author of History of Inequality in South Africa, 1652 – 2002, offered a farewell address on the corrupt heart of South African governance that saw the liberation movement capitulate to neoliberal economic policies within two years of taking power. Moreover, writes Prof William Gumede, institutional racism continues to bedevil the transformation of South African workplaces.
After the Steinhoff collapse, the spotlight on corporate malfeasance turned to Capitec Bank for its practices of ‘predatory lending’. For all the billions of rand misappropriated by the Gupta family, it seems South African business – and more pointedly, White Monopoly Capital – is the kettle calling the Gupta pot black. Yet, the visit by Cyril Ramaphosa to the World Economic Forum showed how irrepressibly capital calls the shots while holding a domestic elite in its grip.
The call to order by monopoly capital sounded though the South African media space as well with the cancellation of the Gupta-linked ANN7 channel on DSTV. The owner of DSTV, Naspers, which stands implicated in the capture of the Department of Communications through millions paid to ANN7, for the presumed influence this would give the corporation over digital migration, is suspiciously engaged in damage control.
In Palestine solidarity news, this week saw the launch locally of the Free Ahed Tamimi and all Palestinian children campaign. Ahed Tamimi celebrated her 17th birthday detained in an Israeli prison. She is but one of hundreds of children arrested by Israeli security forces. This week too, Israeli forces shot and killed another 17-year-old Palestinian youth in al-Mughayer village.
The decision by Naspers subsidiary MultiChoice to axe ANN7 from the DStv bouquet is nothing more than an attempt by the media giant at bending with the new political winds that have been gusting since the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president in December. dailymaverick.co.za/
ANN7 workers are being punished for the sins of their bosses! Multichoice has no tolerance for dissenting views. NUMSA calls for law enforcement authorities to speed up their criminal investigations into the Guptas. And in the meantime all Gupta owned businesses must be nationalized in order to protect workers from losing their jobs. numsa.org.za/
The ideological shifts that took place in the ANC’s economic views from 1990 can only be described as breathtaking: from an explicitly socialist, redistributive approach towards embracing the American ideologies of neoliberal globalism and market fundamentalism. By Sampie Terreblanche pambazuka.org/
Recent studies have confirmed that, although the formal colour bar was codified by apartheid, this situation remains mostly unchanged. Even when black people occupy senior positions, they usually earn less, and have fewer benefits and less responsibility than white people – By William Gumede. mg.co.za/article/
On Tuesday morning, a financial research group called Viceroy released a report looking into the business model and practices of South African lender Capitec. It is damning in the extreme, accusing Capitec of “predatory finance” and massively overstating its performance and value. dailymaverick.co.za/
South Africa’s municipal sewage system has largely collapsed. Of the 824 treatment plants, maybe only 60 release clean water – an article from 2017 highlighting the onset of crises in water and sanitation. mg.co.za/
Despite the Brazilian state government’s prevarication over possible imminent rationing – consisting of two days of water followed by four days without – in reality, millions are now getting just a few hours of water per day, with many struggling with none at all for days on end. This article from 2015 is some reflection of the stresses urban environments are under outside of the Western Cape. theguardian.com/
While the National Key Points Act has promoted secrecy and undermined accountability and the right to protest, we believe the new Bill that will replace it will do more of the same. the Right to Know campaign believes that the Bill replicates the weaknesses of the Protection of State Information Bill and fails to protect people who expose secret information in the public interest. r2k.org.za/
After 15 years of repudiating claims that the invasion of Iraq was only initiated to seize Iraqi resources, large oil corporations fronted by former architects of the war who vacated to the private sector are flagrantly advertising their contracts for exploration and production of Iraqi oil fields to potential investors. amityunderground.com/
Five homeless people have died of hypothermia on the street in Multnomah County in as many years, and eighty-eight died on the street from all causes, “mostly from either drugs and alcohol or diseases,” in 2015 alone. bloomsmag.com/
Ahed Tamimi is a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who was arrested after a video of her slapping an Israeli soldier went viral. The slap was in response to a group of Israeli soldiers attempting to forcibly enter her home, allegedly to use her house as a vantage point for intimidating other Palestinian children in the area with gunfire. wwmp.org.za/
The campaign to FREE AHED TAMIMI and ALL PALESTINIAN CHILDREN was launched at a press conference held at the Cape Town Press Club on Wednesday, 31 January 2018. A recording of the press conference is available here.
A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a Kansas law designed to punish people who boycott Israel is an unconstitutional denial of free speech. The ruling is a significant victory for free speech rights because the global campaign to criminalize, or otherwise legally outlaw, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has been spreading rapidly in numerous political and academic centers in the U.S. theintercept.com/
Local news from Khayelitsha, East London, Port Elizabeth, Alexandra and Orange Farm in English and isiXhosa
Federal regulators and major telecommunications companies pushed back on Monday against a proposal circulating in the White House that would put the government in control of a next-generation mobile broadband network to address economic and security concerns related to China. nytimes.com/
Phones using Android begin silently transmitting data back to the servers of Google. That data can be used by the company to sell targeted advertising. It can also be used to track the stores those consumers who saw ads on their phone visit. This also means governments and courts can request the detailed data on an individual’s whereabouts. qz.com/
We want to dismantle the myth of Amazon being the all-powerful and well-organised global giant. We want to support the small but important efforts to turn Amazon’s international structure into the basis for a global exchange and coordination of workers. angryworkersworld.wordpress.com/
As Amazon grows, so does its impact on local economies. As of August, more than 700 Amazon employees that live in Ohio were dependent on the modern-day equivalent of food stamps. businessinsider.com
Your pizza order! [Google giggle]
– Hello! Gordon’s pizza? – No sir this is Google’s pizza. – Sorry, I must have dialed a wrong number? – No sir, Google bought out Gordon’s Pizza a short while ago. – OK. Take my order please. – OK sir, would you like your usual?” – The usual? You know me? – According to our caller-ID database, your last 12 orders were for pizza with cheese and sausage toppings, thick crust and crisp. – OK! That’s it… – May I suggest this time you add ricotta, arugula with dry tomato toppings? – What? I hate vegetables. – Your cholesterol is not good, sir.” – How do you know that? – We cross-matched your phone number with your name and your online medical portal. We have the result of your blood tests for the past 7 years. – Okay, but I do not want those toppings, I already take medicine … – Excuse me, but you have not taken your medicine regularly. We can see from our database, 4 months ago, you only purchased a box with 30 cholesterol tablets at CVS. – I bought more from another pharmacy. – Such a transaction is not showing in your credit card account. – I paid in cash. – But you did not withdraw that much cash according to your recent bank statement. – I have another source of cash. – That is not showing as per your latest tax return unless you obtained it from an undeclared income source. WHAT THE….. – “I’m sorry, sir, we use such information only with the intention of helping you. – Enough! I’m sick of Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp. I’m going to an Island without internet, cable TV, where there is no cell phone service and no one to spy on me. – “I understand sir but you’ll need to renew your passport first as it expired 6 weeks ago!