What South Africa Thinks about Globalization
What South Africa Thinks about Globalization

 

South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. The country is struggling to bring restitution to its black majority, while developing itself economically. While equal access to schooling was guaranteed in 1996 Schools Act, access to health care has been uneven as there are not enough doctors for the poor. Furthermore, many rural clinics cannot test for HIV, a major problem facing the country’s lower class. Finally, many citizens lack basic access to services.

Despite these challenges, South Africa is highly integrated into the world economy. It has world-class companies, but cannot compete with China on manufacturing because of high wages and strong unions.1 The country also has a skills shortage, further hampering its ability to attract FDI. On the positive side, ,mining is one of the drivers of the economy. However, the demand for South Africa’s minerals has decreased because of the global economic slowdown and low commodity prices.2 Despite these challenges, South Africa is an economic powerhouse in its region of the world.

This article presents perspectives from across the country on a variety of globalization topics.

Globalization

From a South African trade union perspective, neoliberal-driven globalization is entrenching existing inequalities between regions, nations and the rich and poor, rather than improving the lot of all the world’s citizens. Yet, there is a need for trade unions and civil society to engage critically in the globalization process, and combat its negative aspects.

Mannah, Shermain. “The impact of globalization in Africa and the response of trade unions: The case of South Africa.” International Labor Organization.

Global Media and Technology
The International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), the custodian of Brand South Africa examines the current state of media in South Africa.

Public broadcasting is provided by the state broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), through an annual payment of a TV licence fee. Free-to-air is provided by commercial broadcaster e.tv and subscription television services – MNet and DStv – are provided by Multichoice. In 2007 Icasa issued licences for four new pay-TV providers set to end Multichoice Africa’s monopoly in the pay-TV market, these are: Telkom Media, On Digital Media (ODM), e.sat and Walk on Water Television, as well as incumbent MultiChoice…

Radio commands vast listenerships, with community stations catering to specific target audiences and national stations drawing in people across the country.
In its SA Media Facts report for March 2009, OMD Media Direction found that there were 21 daily newspapers, 27 major weeklies, 660 consumer magazines, 735 business-to-business publications, 470 community newspapers and magazines, 92 television stations, 137 radio stations, and over 65 DStv audio channels.

Regarding digital media, there were 10.9 internet users per 100 people, 8.5 personal computers per 100 people and 72.4 cellphone subscribers per 100 people. Web pages indexed by Google were estimated at more than 10 billion…

According to the 2008B All Media Products Study (AMPS) by the South African Advertising Research Foundation (Saarf), 48.6% of South African’s adult population (over the age of 16) read newspapers, 31.4% read daily papers and 35.4% read weekly papers…

Mainstream newspaper circulation is fairly flat, according to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation of South Africa (ABC). But this is balanced by massive growth in new tabloid-style papers aimed at the mass market…

Independent News and Media owns 14 national and regional newspapers, publishing newspapers in most of the major cities…

The flagship publication of Avusa (formerly Johnnic Communications, or Johncom) is the Sunday Times, South Africa’s bestselling Sunday newspaper and one of the country’s largest papers overall…

Although it is a small group, M&G Media must be included in any overview of the South African media. The company published the highly regarded weekly Mail and Guardian, which began life in 1985 as the Weekly Mail, a newspaper that earned international respect for its fearless exposure of apartheid-era abuses. Its target audience remains the more serious reader…

The trend in South Africa, as in other developing nations such as India and China, is towards local newspapers for local readers, in a tabloid style.

Content is changing, too: it is human interest, focused on the local community, local investigations and often uses local languages. Son, for example, is written in a rough, street Afrikaans.

The stories are big on superstition, violent crime and local interest, with little or no sense of the bigger picture and no analysis…

But by far the biggest challenge to the traditional newspaper market is the internet. In South Africa, there are over 36-million cellphones in circulation (although perhaps not that many actual cellphone users), while 3.85-million people have access to the internet…

The Media in South Africa.” Media Club South Africa. March 11, 2011.

Culture
The song Ayesaba Amagwala, with the refrain “Shoot the Boer,” is drawing controversy within South Africa. The song was originally an anti-apartheid anthem of the 1980s, but is being viewed as hate speech, especially in light of a 2010 murder of white South Africans by two blacks. This article highlights the problematic meeting of the term “boer.”

Afriforum has taken Malema to court for publicly singing the song, which includes the lyrics “dubula ibhunu” — “shoot the boer” in Zulu.

“Boer” is an Afrikaans word meaning farmer, and Afrikaner farmers use it every day among themselves. I played golf recently with two farmers from the Free State whose English was patchy, so with a little help from whisky I dusted up my Afrikaans and soon we were having a roaring conversation at the 19th hole.

They must have used the word “boer” a thousand times in the three hours we spent chatting about everything from farming to the economy, alternative revenue streams for farmers, married life, sex, booze etc.

But Afriforum argued in an affidavit that “the word ‘boer’, in this context (when used by blacks in a song I suppose), is a derogatory word referring to farmers, whites and to Afrikaners in particular,” it said.

I guess the word “boer” has become like the word “nigger” – it’s only acceptable when used among the people it referrs to.

Black Americans call each other nigger endearingly, but a white person cannot call them that. So Afrikaner farmers can call themselves and each other boers, but we cannot, as the word suddenly assumes its derogatory status.

The Afrikaners will have to invent an alternative Afrikaans word for farmer which is safe to be used by other races when speaking Afrikaans.

Milazi, Abdul. “A “boer” is like a “nigger.”” Common Grounds. The Times. February 13, 2011.

Trade
Trade protectionism has declined in South Africa since the 1990s. However, further liberalization has stalled since the WTO Uruguay Round.3 South Africa feels that it is unfair to expect poor or emerging countries to increase market access for industrial goods and services. In the Doha Round, South Africa and other emerging countries demanded reciprocity with proportional commitments in developing and developed countries.4

Global trade talks are not being debated though in South African newspapers, the current hot-button is the potential nationalization of the country’s lucrative mining industry:

The launch of state-owned mining company is renewing questions about whether South Africa has long-term plans to nationalise the lucrative industry.

President Jacob Zuma officially launches the company this weekend at a coal mine in eastern South Africa. The mining ministry says the company, known as the African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation, will initially focus on ensuring the state-owned electricity utility has enough coal…

Mining minister Susan Shabangu and other top officials have made it clear they oppose nationalisation. But Shabangu says that while nationalisation is not government policy, ANC is studying its feasibility…

A final decision on nationalisation has been put off until the party’s 2012 annual convention. In the meantime, some speculate the push to get a state-owned mining company running is an attempt to defuse support for broader nationalisation….

Bryson, Donna. “SA launches state mining company.” Mail and Guardian. February. 25 2011.

Let me now turn to a very emotional subject: nationalisation. Very few well-informed people in South Africa take the prospect seriously but, for the investor from the outside contemplating numerous options on behalf of his principals, the question is: why risk long-term capital in a country if there is even the remotest chance of nationalisation?

My advice to the government and ANC leadership is this: take a policy stand against nationalisation and stick to it….

Labour legislation
Another major concern is suggested changes to our labour legislation, with four new Bills that will tighten government and union control of the labour market. I find it incredibly naive and short-sighted of government to have as one of its targets the creation of five million jobs in the next 10 years and then to put all conceivable obstacles in the way of achieving the target….

We should all train, train and train. I firmly believe that training is the best method of empowerment. I dream of the day when our education system becomes fully functional and when all companies consistently spend between 5% and 10% of their wage bill on training and development.

Fauconnier, Con. “Cronyism burying SA’s mining prospects.” Mail and Guardian. March 8, 2011.

Sunday Times Editorial: A state mining company, especially one which is concerned with the security of supply of strategic minerals, is not necessarily a bad idea….
A state-owned mining company could also require taxpayers to subsidise marginal mines, which should probably not be operating at all.

Mining is labour-intensive, so a state mining company could assist in tackling the unemployment issue. But it could end up consuming public resources with little output.
A state mining company would also find itself in a politically impossible position as the regulator of mines and an operator in competition with the mines it regulates. If it competes with privately owned companies for mining licences, who is going to get them, and on what grounds?

Good intentions not enough.” Sunday Times. Mar 5, 2011.

Development
In 1994, the ANC’s Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) sought to right past wrongs, by redistributing land, building millions of new homes and providing basic services to all. Despite its low profile in later years, RDP is credited with bringing increased access to housing and clean water. Land distribution is taking place slowly. Few are able to afford to buy the land when it becomes available and few blacks have received land through claims processed by  the underfunded and understaffed courts.

In 1996, the Growth Employment and Redistribution program (GEAR) became the main development vehicle. GEAR focuses on fiscal and monetary discipline, increased foreign aid and domestic investment, public-private partnerships and the privatization of water and electricity.5 Privatization has led ten million people to lose access each to water and electricity. Two million people were evicted from their homes. Millions of jobs were lost as well.6

The emphasis on market liberalization has been criticized, especially by the Congress of South African Trade Unions. Meanwhile private employers complain that the unions have too many rights,  which are linked to rigid labor laws.7 The government recently allowed employers to base hiring on national or regional demographics, a move initiated to give more flexibility to employers, but may decrease opportunities for blacks in high –density areas.8

Patrick Magebhula, chairperson of the Informal Settlement Network, president of the Federation of the Urban Poor and adviser to Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale, writes about how some South Africans are taking economic development into their own hands.

There was a time when uskoteni (hobo) was a word that police and government officials used to demean slum-dwellers like me.

We did not belong; we were to be removed or harassed. But we have changed the meaning of the word. Throughout South Africa we now refer to ourselves as uskoteni with pride.

Now it means we are survivors. This ability of the poor to survive and innovate in the face of harsh conditions is central to the changing approach of the ministry of human settlements to slum upgrading.

Although the government has built about two million matchbox houses since 1994, the housing backlog is larger than it was in 1994. Now, the ministry has agreed to upgrade incrementally the informal settlements where people already live…

The RDP housing programme has created false expectations among millions of people who will probably never get free houses. And those who receive them have to live further from job opportunities than they did when they were shack-dwellers. Also, the government has evicted shack-dwellers in every major city…

The Informal Settlement Network (ISN), which I chair, is a broad network of informal settlement organisations which brings together poor communities, city-wide and nationally, to share concerns and develop solutions…

We recommitted ourselves to a broad agenda of working with local communities in planning their own development. This involves communities collecting information about themselves by means of household surveys, planning their settlement using this information, and networking at city level so that the poor are central to city planning…

Uskoteni, in partnership with the cities, are now ready to upgrade their lives and build the nation that has long been their dream.

Magebhula, Patrick. “Moving from slum survivor to urban planner.” Mail and Guardian. March 4, 2011.

Investment
South Africa has a strong currency and a weak economy. Its economy is only expected to grow 3.5 percent in 2011. Foreign Direct Investment fell 75 percent in 2010 and 38 percent in 2009 because of low, global commodity prices and uncertainty related to South African labor and mining policies. South Africa’s strong currency makes its mining and manufacturing exports expensive for foreign buyers. Manufacturing accounts for 15 percent of the country’s output.9

South Africa is an investor as well, increasingly in the African continent. Dianna Games, director of Africa@Work, a South African consultancy focusing on political economy and business in Africa, writes about this new trend.

SA investment, which began in earnest in the late 1990s, may not equal the billions being lined up by Africa’s new investors, but its engagement has been steady and broad-based, focusing not just on resources but on a wide range of sectors that have greater linkages to, and thus benefits for, the economies of other countries. These investments include retail, property, hotels, information communication technology (ICT), manufacturing, agriculture, insurance, banking, transport, tourism and others….

SA is in a key position. It is a sought-after market for new investors, providing a more familiar environment from whence to launch new operations on the continent and is both a competitor and potential partner in the rest of Africa…

Just over a decade ago, SA was the new business challenger in Africa as its companies, supported by post-apartheid government, sought markets for pent up production and capital. By 2000, SA had become the biggest investor in Africa outside the oil industry. The South African Reserve Bank estimated FDI stocks in Africa rose from about $230 million in 1990 to $1.6 billion and $3.2 billion in 2004 at constant prices — 10.89% of outward FDI stocks. The 2009 figure may be double that as a result of new investment in mega-projects, equity deals with African companies and green-field projects. Trade, too, increased by 659% between 1994 and 2008. SA has a large trade surplus with most African countries. Such skewed commercial activities that appear to favour SA are at the heart of official concerns about economic engagement with the continent…

To address similar problems, China and India have opened their markets to dozens of African products. But SA is constrained by regional trade arrangements and by strict regulations covering goods entering its market…

It has not all been smooth sailing. In addition to trade imbalance issues, the success of SA companies in other African markets has led to resentment and allegations, often unfounded, of exploitation and arrogance. Such allegations are not directed at other investing nations…

But relationships are improving as SA has increased contact with African markets and as the benefits of its trade and investment become entrenched.

The emergence of new investors in Africa, bringing benefits for the continent as a whole, is positive for the continent as a whole. But SA business, which accommodated Western competition in its African expansion, needs a new strategy to take into account the shifting business landscape and to ensure it remains a significant and competitive player on the continent.

Games, Dianna. “Emerging Commercial Rivalries in Africa: A View from South Africa.” Policy Briefing 15. South Africa Foreign Policy and African Drivers Programme. SAIIA. February 2010.

International Law
South Africa is seeking membership in the BRIC countries bloc. In this analysis, Joseph Senona, an official of the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa, highlights his thoughts on the relationship of South Africa to the BRIC countries, its role in IBSA, and its role in economic development of the African continent.

Excitement surrounding BRIC, as the new centre of South–South co-operation, seems to have reached fever pitch in South Africa. The creation of institutional structures, such as the BRIC Forum and IBSA, is a powerful indication of a newly found confidence among these middle income developing countries, which have been rushing to form so-called ‘strategic partnerships’ with each other…

History shows that major change requires a succession of unrelenting ‘tsunamis’, in order to break down and completely reverse the neo-liberal globalisation trend and set in motion a truly global development agenda. Both the BRIC and IBSA forums have the potential to turn into such ‘tsunamis’, but first they need to restructure and occupy the moral high ground by being more inclusive and, specifically, taking on Africa’s development interests…

For some pundits, the exclusion of South Africa is justified by the BRIC countries’ relative economic strength compared to South Africa. Yet, South Africa’s membership of the alliance is more than a matter of political idealism. It is of practical importance, given the country’s dominant and pivotal role in Africa, coupled with a relatively strong economy, well-developed infrastructure and institutions. As the springboard for investing in Africa, South Africa could play a central role in articulating and championing the development interests of the continent…

Over the next 20–50 years, the BRIC and IBSA countries could become the most dominant economies in their respective regions and in the world. Talk about the rise of the South, and shifts in geopolitics, often refers to the emergence of these giants. They make ideal and attractive long-term strategic economic and/or political partners for both the South and North countries…

Just as the G7 economies drove the neoliberal globalisation agenda for a long-time, the BRIC and IBSA countries combined can begin to define, champion and drive a new development. Surely, by remaining true to the cause of the South, and the fundamental principles of South– South co-operation and solidarity, these countries will not only achieve greatness for their people, but will reshape the global system and achieve the goal of a multipolar world.

Senona, Joseph. “BRIC and IBSA Forums: Neo-liberals in Disguise or Champions of the South?” Policy Briefing 24. Emerging Powers and Global Challenges Program. SAIIA. September 2010.

Energy
South Africans are struggling with the rising fuel costs. Meanwhile the country provides electricity to its citizens at a low price to increase productivity and create the opportunity for employment.

The ANC government has promised to create five million new jobs, but without electricity as the backbone of the economy, it is hard to imagine how these jobs will be created. The reality is that new power generation capacity is urgently needed.

Milazi, Abdul. “How will the ANC create jobs without electricity?.” Common Dialogue. The Sunday Times. March 8, 2011.

As oil becomes more expensive in developed economies, their growth can be affected, which can have a direct effect on a demand for exports from South Africa. This could, in turn, scupper South African’s plan to create more jobs and grow the economy — and this could affect our ability to afford property, among other things…

It seems likely that the costs of anything relying on transportation will be affected, including food. This may “crowd out” the portion of disposable income consumers might otherwise have used for servicing home loans, says Loos…

It may be prudent to save, save, save until we have a clearer idea of how the oil crisis will be resolved. And with winter not too far off and electricity hikes pending (and likely to continue until 2015, according to the National Energy Regulator), we’ll all need more disposable income…

Zerbst, Fiona. “ Rising oil prices could affect households.” Mail and Guardian. March 1, 2011.

Environment
For years, South Africa has been dealing with environmental problems associated with its mining sector.

Radioactive levels three times higher than the safe permissible level for human consumption have been found in vegetables grown in wetlands in the Wonderfonteinspruit area between Randfontein and Potchefstroom, Beeld newspaper reported on Saturday.

The findings come from a report by the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) drawn up at the request of the National Nuclear Regulator some time back that has only now been released.

Beeld also reported that large tracts of land in the area of the Wonderfonteinspruit were 150 times more radioactive than the permitted level.

Uranium is a by-product of gold mining which has taken place in the area for more than 100 years…

Here is a transcript from the popular media programme Carte Blanche featured in 2007.

The Wonderfontein Spruit starts near Randfontein in the north and moves all the way down south to Potchefstroom. It flows through the richest gold mining region in the world…

The Coetzee’s have stopped farming mealies because the crops turned yellow when they were irrigated from the Wonderfontein Spruit. The water in Robinson Lake is as acidic as orange juice and is radioactive. Hundreds of fish who fed on the uranium-rich sediment of the Donaldson Dam died recently. Across the way, in the Krugersdorp Nature Reserve, many animals have died, and the herds of buck are showing signs of low fertility. The common denominator in all of these examples is uranium-contaminated water and, if unchecked, it may eventually reach Potchefstroom…

Mariette: … It is still estimated that the gold mining industry discharges 50 tons of uranium into the watercourses every year. This is compounded by the 100 000 tons of uranium that are estimated to be in the tailings dams…

Mariette Liefferink is a self-funded activist and has, in the past, taken on the oil giant Shell and won.

Wonderfontein is home to some of the largest gold mining companies in the world. AngloGold, Goldfields, DRD and Harmony are the four major operators. Mariette Liefferink believes they are largely responsible for the contamination of the Wonderfontein Spruit…

According to Marius Keet [Department of Water Affairs], the Government has created a task team of the Departments of Water Affairs, Mineral and Energy Affairs and Environmental Affairs to address the issues in the area. He has been monitoring the water situation for a while and believes that there is an improvement in the surface water…

The National Nuclear Regulator released the Brenk report on 2 August this year, and it stated that there were 11 sites along the Wonderfontein Spruit that exceeded the annual limit of radioactivity. One of the concerns in the report was the irrigation of vegetables from these sites. Khutsong is a town of about 150 000 people and many of the residents rely on this water source.…

WonderfonteinSpruit – Uranium Pollution From Gold Mine Runoff – Legacy Of A Poisonous Industry.” February 13, 2011.

Health
The issue of AIDs is covered extensively in the South African newspapers.

At least 5,6-million of South Africa’s 50-million people are infected with HIV/Aids, but new studies show that here and elsewhere on the continent fear of the syndrome and knowledge about how to prevent it have begun to change sexual habits, and in some places dramatically reduce infection rates…

Now condoms are available for free at government offices, public awareness adverts saturate TV airwaves and the state has allocated billions of rands for treatment and prevention…

“One of the biggest challenges we have with this epidemic is that without a vaccine or a cure, we need to keep the momentum of the prevention programmes going. They have to be constantly refreshed because you have new cohorts of young people entering into risk behaviour every four or five years,” said de Lay.

Herskovitz, Jon and Kate Kelland. “Fear battles fatalism in Africa’s Aids fight.” Mail and Guardian. March 5, 2011.

Professor Lesley Wood associate professor in the faculty of education at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, writes about Aids education.

Statistics repeatedly tell us that HIV and Aids are affecting the lives of millions of South Africans — an estimated 5,7-million in 2009 — the majority of whom are involved in the education system as teachers, parents or learners.

What the statistics don’t tell us is how the average teacher and learner are affected on a daily basis. Warnings about the potential effect the pandemic will have on the quality of education somehow do not capture the real trauma and despair of teachers who have to deal with severe emotional, financial, social, psychological, health and pedagogical challenges.

Although the negative effects of the pandemic put additional pressure on an already depleted and struggling educational system, educators have an important role to play in both the prevention of HIV infection and the care and support of those already infected or affected.

The problem is that few teachers have been trained to cope with the educational, social and psychological consequences of HIV and Aids…

To be an effective HIV and Aids educator is to be aware of your own values, beliefs, feelings and behaviour, because what you believe, feel and do in the classroom will convey either a positive or negative message around HIV and people living with HIV and Aids…

Once you are aware of your own attitudes towards HIV and Aids and those infected or affected, you will be able to make sure that you create a safe and supportive school and classroom environment that will encourage learners to share with you any problems that might be affecting their ability to concentrate and learn.

Wood, Lesley. “How does HIV/Aids affect your teaching?.” Mail and Guardian. March 7, 2011.

Education
South Africa guarantees equal access to public and private schools. Nonetheless there are significant challenges facing the school system. Ann Bernstein, Executive Director of the Centre for Development and Enterprise, writes about how South Africa should improve its schools.

The only way to improve outcomes is to improve instruction. Reform needs to focus on improving teaching skills and changing classroom practice.

Problems arise when teachers come straight out of college, do not interact.with their peers and have no examples of excellence. The best systems improve teachers’ skills by bringing professionalism, mentoring and apprenticeships back to teaching. Mindset and organisational shifts are vital.

Every school needs a strong leader. Top performing systems recruit and train excellent principals. They find candidates with intrinsic leadership skills and support them to become effective leaders.

South Africa has emphasised enrolment over achievement in schooling. Many pupils go through the schooling system without actually learning – a problem that starts in the early grades with a failure to instil basic operational skills….

Improving South African public schooling is not a secondary or peripheral issue. Successful reform will be difficult and will require vision, staying power, managerial competence and political courage. South Africa’s future success requires a greatly improved system. So do its children. A high level of commitment is required across the board for long-term success.

Bernstein, Ann. “Good teachers equal good schools.” The Star. November 16, 2009.

Migration
Another way to address the skills shortage in South Africa is through increased migration of skilled laborers. The Centre for Development and Enterprise, a South African think tank, argues in favor of increased skilled migration.

THE Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) has called on parliament to reject the current Immigration Amendment Bill and to instruct officials to draft a new version that would make the country ‘as attractive and welcoming as possible to skilled immigrants’.

“This is vital if the country is to achieve the President’s stated goal of achieving economic growth of 7 per cent per annum for a sustained period,” says Ann Bernstein, executive director of the CDE…

The Bill seeks to abolish the current scarce skills quota system, which severely restricts skilled immigration. However, in its stead it gives the Minister and Director-General extensive discretionary powers to determine key aspects of migration policy and strategy with no guidelines as to how they might implement the new regulations…

CDE warns that the lack of clarity about how present and future officials might shape migration policy will lead to uncertainty within the bureaucracy and among prospective immigrants and employers.

“It may also impact on investor perceptions and confidence, making it more difficult to attract and recruit the skilled foreigners we need,” says Bernstein in the CDE’s submission to the portfolio committee…

More rapid economic growth requires that the country attract much larger numbers of skilled foreigners, with skills defined broadly enough to include not just people with academic qualifications, but also those with practical and technical skills or business experience…

Send migration bill back for redrafting, parliament told.” MEDIA RELEASE. Centre for Development and Enterprise. January 26, 2011.

Human Rights
The South African NGO, Lawyers for Human Rights, has documented the abuse and neglect of asylum seekers, refugees and illegal foreign workers in detention centers.

The constitutional order established in South Africa in 1994 included administrative and judicial protections governing detentions. These protections were meant to put an end to the apartheid era practice of indefinite detention without trial. Unfortunately, documented and undocumented foreigners, as well as South Africans mistaken for foreigners, have fallen outside of this protective structure…While the detention of “illegal foreigners” is governed by a legal framework, this framework has not been implemented by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), which oversees immigration…

The passage of the Immigration Act (Act no 13 of 2002, as amended in 2004) was envisaged as bringing about a more progressive, less exclusionary, immigration policy in contrast to the apartheid legislation. Unfortunately, the new Act failed to realize this vision and instead maintained the previous regime’s focus on controlling access to South Africa, rather than serving to provide protection for those fleeing from persecution.

In addition, the poor wording of the Act and major problems with enforcement have created an environment where human rights abuses, particularly in the field of immigration detention, are rampant. The causes of these abuses range from the lack of legal procedures governing long-term detention to overzealous policing by a number of law enforcement agencies.…

…arbitrary and unlawful detentions of illegal foreigners happen with regularity and in contravention of international and domestic human rights guarantees. These abuses are exacerbated by the difficulties involved with monitoring the various locations where foreigners are detained, including prisons, airports, police stations, an old dilapidated sports hall on a military base in Musina commonly known as “SMG”, and the infamous Lindela Holding Facility…
T
he misplaced focus of the legal framework, in combination with a lack of capacity and training and a working environment rife with corruption, have made immigration enforcement in South Africa both a spectacular failure and a source of great human rights violations. This failure calls for a new legal approach. Until such an approach can be implemented, greater oversight over existing procedures is necessary to address the rampant abuses and to eliminate the practice of indefinite detentions that have no legal basis and that deprive detainees of their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Monitoring Immigration and Detention in South Africa.” Lawyers for Human Rights. December 2008.


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Poor Countries Have Already Given Enough in Doha Round.” ISP News. February 14, 2011.
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South Africa’s Currency Dilemma.” The Wall Street Journal. March 4, 2011.

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