Marius Redelinghuys

We should lower the voting age to 16

The Council of Europe’s recent call for its members to investigate lowering the voting age to 16, while not a novel idea, is undoubtedly a controversial one. In South Africa the idea of lowering the voting age was first raised by former president Nelson Mandela in 1994 when, in an interview with Time magazine (May…

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On Cope and coalitions

The Congress of the People, perhaps surprisingly to many, has been placed in a rather awkward position as “kingmaker” in a number of municipalities, primarily in the Western and Northern Cape. The position is challenging primarily because Cope has to decide whether it wants to throw its lot in with the DA, or side with…

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No value for money in local government

The nett pay of councillors in Tshwane is apparently R18 000 a month, while their counterparts in Johannesburg and eKurhuleni earn between R13 000 and R14 000. If you live in Pretoria, Centurion, Mamelodi, Hammanskraal or surrounds, you put R36 000 a month into your ward and PR councillor’s pockets. Whether ANC or DA, in…

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Lekota: An unwelcome prophet

It is apparently improper to comment on South African politics without invoking God or religion more broadly. Last night a caller to 702 alleged that Mosiuoa Lekota had left the ANC because he had lost power and that his criticism of the ruling party only surfaced after the now (in)famous divorce. I was reminded of…

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The role and place of struggle songs in post-apartheid SA

AmaBhunu bangabantu. iBhunu ngumuntu ngabantu … and they too have rights under our Constitution and the Freedom Charter. Tata Madiba said in 1994 that “never again will we be at war with one another”, why chant about killing and shooting? Is the bank of our history so bankrupt that we have to dig deep into…

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Big daddy state not conducive to sustainable development and empowerment

The first time I saw a R20 note was in 1993 when I was six-years-old and we were living in Swaziland. I stumbled upon it in the garden and my mother said I could have it. Elated, I impatiently awaited the regular daily passing of the “sucker lady” (our then-version of Madam & Eve’s Mielie…

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Disservice delivery and the crisis of local government

The most disgusting example of the failure of local government in South Africa also happens to be the place my mother’s family calls home. The gateway to Mpumalanga’s Cultural Heartland, the Kruger National Park and the Lowveld juts out like a scar on the otherwise awe-inspiring rolling grasslands a mere 100km from Tshwane. The near…

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A double shot of white guilt, on the rocks please

Reality is a bitch, that’s why I like mine in small doses and preferably heavily diluted. This is particularly true of a reality that is either embarrassing or indefensible and especially when that reality is in some way my own creation. Take, for example, some of my undeniably embarrassing and inexcusable behaviour. Like most South…

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No quick fix for local government

The latest addition to President Jacob Zuma’s impeccable lip-service delivery record puts him almost on par with Bob the Builder as an over-ambitious Mr Fix It. While the president hits all the right notes, that’s what election season is all about anyway, the meta-narrative of comments emanating from the ruling party heavyweights demonstrates exactly what…

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The United States of Africa: A dream reborn

The eventual ousting of Moammar Gadaffi, counter-intuitively, has the potential to bring the African continent one step closer to the tyrannical despot’s long pursued pet project of a United States of Africa. In stark contrast to the personal monopoly over power illegitimately accrued by Gadaffi and his cohort of African heads of government, a federation…

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