Governance & Institutions


What the Hijacking of South Africa’s Treasury means for the Economy

South Africa has been rocked by news that President Jacob Zuma has bulldozed the country’s National Treasury to adopt a fee free higher education proposal without following standard process and scrutiny. This is reportedly what’s behind the resignation of the Treasury’s respected head of budgeting, Michael Sachs. The Conversation Africa’s Sibonelo Radebe asked Seán Muller to weigh up the implications.

By Seán Mfundza Muller

Civic Charter

Repression of civil society is on the rise all over the world. The charter aims to support civil society organizations as activists throughout the world, to advocate for their rights and freedom of action, and to demand government guarantees.

Perspectives #02/2016: Laughing Out Loud - The Politics of Satire in Africa


When you write about Africa, make sure to always include sad and starving characters, advises Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainana in his famously ironic essay “How to write about Africa”, which takes aim at Western prejudices. In the same way that everyday laughter has been excluded from all-too-familiar depictions of the continent, African humour and satire as a form of social and political engagement remains underexplored.

Distrust in Leaders Grows as Corrupt Eclipse Graft Busters

The results of Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index, released this week, hold mixed news for SA. We are not the most corrupt country on earth, but a short way beneath us the slide becomes extremely slippery.

By David Lewis

Civil Society Under Pressure

Shrinking – closing – no space: Governments across all continents villainize civil society actors. Where does their sense of threat emanate from?

By Barbara Unmüßig

The Zimbabwean Comedians Getting Away with Satirising Mugabe's Government

Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation is notorious for several reasons. First, as a mouthpiece for the Zanu-PF party, whose 91-year-old president Robert Mugabe recently fell over at a press conference, causing a worldwide avalanche of memes and a more localised effort to suppress the original evidence. Second, for its appalling technical glitches. And, third, for its ingenious spoof by two Harare comedians, Comrade Fatso and Outspoken, who met on the underground hip-hop scene and are risking their lives to make some of the sharpest satire on the continent.

By Chitra Ramaswamy


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