Editorial note

Dear subscribers to the newsletter,

when is the use of superlatives appropriate?

On Sunday, May, 23, South African President publicly announced that the lockdown will be loosened and measures go from level 4 to level 3. The last two months of „world´s strictest lockdown” gave South Africa, the country with the largest inequality of the income distribution, a really hard time. A good week before the end of lockdown level 4 SANDF (South African National Defense Force) has published a set of guidelines where it lodged that soldiers are not allowed to simply shoot people.

In the last two months eleven people have lost their lives through Corona-protection by police and also soldiers. Full article

Permanent crisis function

by Maren Grimm

Spot on informal mineworker settlements

One of the starting points for the Plough Back The Fruits campaign has always been to amplify the voices of those workers and their communities in the raw material extraction areas in South Africa, right at the beginning of supply and value chains of global corporations. While the employees of the mining companies have at least trade union representation, which must be included in collective bargaining and decisions affecting the respective sector, there is hardly any publicly perceivable, accepted and legitimate representation of the interests of the informal settlements surrounding the mines, where most of those workers live. Full article

COVID-19 Exposes Government Failure to Deliver Services to the Poor

by Bishop Johannes Seoka

Once again South Africa finds itself in a Cul-de Sac in service delivery because of the COVID-19 negative impact. Not only have we seen lack of leadership in the behavior of the law enforcement amidst the Coronavirus but continuous chaos in food and water distribution in areas that have not enjoyed basic service delivery since the dawn of our democracy in 1994.

Pictures of longest lines, never seen before, even during the apartheid days are now seen all the way from Cape Town in the Western Cape to Beit Bridge in Limpopo. The poor, especially the most vulnerable, the elderly and people with disabilities are subjected to queuing for their pension grants in open and cold situations where pay-outs are done.  Full article

Basic income and social security – the debate has returned

by Simone Knapp

The debate around a basic income grant is under discussion once more, whether as short time emergency security or as long-term security for the entire population. However, no country has yet dared to introduce a universal, unconditional basic income (BIG), which is paid to all people from birth to death, regardless of income or assets.

At present, countries such as Namibia or South Africa, where social security systems and a BIG have been discussed since the end of the 1990s, are taking back on it due to the impact the pandemic and the lockdown have on the living conditions of a large part of the population. Full article

Seize Corona Crisis as an Opportunity: Shaping Social Models Differently

by Boniface Mabanza

If one is to believe the assessments of the Africa experts from Germany and Europe – and there are many of these Africa experts – it should only be a matter of time until the great catastrophe in the wake of the Corona pandemic breaks out in Africa’s streets and Western countries, despite their own convulsions caused by COVID-19, are forced to organize unprecedented humanitarian bridges to Africa. These predictions were and are based on the assumption that if COVID-19 is bad even for “us”, this pandemic can only be worse in Africa. One problem is that many of those who dared to make these predictions speak of a homogenized Africa that does not exist in this way. Full article