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    Monthly Briefing #18

    Date published:28 October  2013
    Article category: Media

    In issue Number#18 we are proud to announce that MISTRA Executive Director, Joel Netshitenzhe will present the first lecture in the Pixley ka Isaka Seme Annual Lecture Series at Columbia University in New York on the topic: "The Vision of Seme 107 Years On: Is Civilization Still a Dream and is the Regeneration of Africa Possible?” 

    MISTRA is also happy to announce the commencement of a book tour of the United States by Barry Gilder, former Director Operations of MISTRA and current MISTRA Fellow, who will be speaking on his book Songs and Secrets: South Africa from Liberation to Governance.

    The Institute also takes great pleasure in announcing the finalization of release of the integrated research findings of two of its core research projects: Poverty, Inequality and Patronage and The Evolution Of The Post-1994 South African State.

    And we report on a recent dinner hosted by MISTRA Patron Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairman of the Shanduka Group in support of the work of the Institute. 

    MISTRA regrets to announce the postponement of the launch of the African Transformation Report compiled by the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), which was scheduled for Monday, 11 November 2013.

    We report on media articles by Dr Mcebisi Ndletyana on “Progress is the essence of tradition” and “Why SA still love their ballot papers”.

    And we are proud to announce the appointment of Dr Tanya Abrahamse, MISTRA Board Member and Chief Executive Officer of the South African National Biodiversity Institute, to a Scientific Advisory Board, announced by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.  And also announce the appointment of Dr Betchani Tchereni as a Senior Researcher in the Faculty of Political Economy.


    STRATEGIC REFLECTIONS

    First Lecture in the Pixley ka Isaka Seme Annual Lecture Series by Joel Netshitenzhe at the Institute for African Studies at Columbia University

    MISTRA Executive Director, Joel Netshitenzhe will present the First Lecture in the Pixley ka Isaka Seme Annual Lecture Series at Columbia University in New York on 29th October 2013.

    Joel Pixley.jpg

    Hosted jointly by the South African Consulate General and The Institute of African Studies at Columbia, the title of the lecture is: "The Vision of Seme 107 Years On: Is Civilization Still a Dream and is the Regeneration of Africa Possible?" 

    The Institute of African Studies (IAS) is Columbia University's central forum and resource for African-centered academic research, program development, curriculum administration, student advisement, and local, national, and international dialogue and action. Founded in 1959, the IAS prepares generations of Africa practitioners for careers in academic research, teaching, development, diplomacy, business, governance, journalism, law, and human rights by sponsoring courses and offering events on Africa throughout the year. 

    Through its many lecture-series, conferences, seminars, and workshops, the Institute provides a special forum for the coming together of distinguished Africanist faculty, scholars, and students, as well as for the broader community engaged in policy initiatives on Africa.

    Details:

    Date: Tuesday October 29, 2013

    Time 6:00PM to 8:00PM

    VenueGrace Dodge Hall,

    Teachers College,

    Room 177/179

    (525 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10027)

    Columbia University

    For more information click here. 

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    Book Tour: Songs and Secrets by Barry Gilder, MISTRA Fellow

    Barry Gilder, former Director Operations of MISTRA and current MISTRA Fellow is conducting a US book tour in November.   Gilder will be speaking on his book Songs and Secrets: South Africa from Liberation to Governance. 


    His tour will include the following cities: New York, New Jersey, New Haven, Boston, Cleveland, and Washington DC. 

    For more details, please contact Barry Gilder on BarryG@mistra.org.za or Julia Pentz at Julia.pentz@oup.com or Tel: 212 726 628

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    Conference on Poverty, Inequality and Patronage                          

    The Mapungubwe Institute (MISTRA) is pleased to announce the completion of its two-year research project titled Poverty, Inequality and Patronage.

    Poverty Patronage Cover.jpg

    The integrated report on the findings will be released at a conference, which will provide an opportunity for researchers, respondents and other interested parties to engage with some of the findings of this study.  The study draws on four case studies conducted in different provinces of South Africa and covers the relationship between poverty, inequality and patronage in different localities.

    These case studies reveal instructive lessons on the articulation among these social dynamics and how they play out concretely in communities. 

    DETAILS OF THE CONFERENCE ARE AS FOLLOWS:

    VENUE: Gallagher Convention Centre, 19 Richards Drive, Midrand

    DATE: Tuesday, 12 November 2013

    TIME: 09h00 – 14h30

    R

    SVP: Sedireng Lerakong on 011 518 0281
or email: sedirengl@mistra.org.za

     

    ******************************************

    Conference on The Evolution Of The Post-1994 South African State

    The Mapungubwe Institute (MISTRA) is pleased to announce the completion of its research project on “The Evolution Of The Post-1994 South African State”.

    Evolution cover.jpg

    The Institute will host a public launch on Friday, 29 November 2013 to share the findings of the research.   The findings will be released as a collection of research papers that interrogate various aspects of the State and in some instances, suggest policy options for consideration by key role players in the state and society.

    MISTRA hopes the public launch will stimulate and help sustain a trans-sectoral conversation on how best to understand and engage the post-1994 South African state.

    Details:

    Date:                        Friday, 29 November 2013

    Time:                       09:00am – 13:00pm

    VENUE:                   TBC

    RSVP:                       Ms Hope Prince on 011-518-0276 via email: hopep@mistra.org.za
    Kindly RSVP by 22 November 2013 

    *******************************************

    MISTRA Patron’s Dinner

    On the 17th October 2013 Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairman of the Shanduka Group and MISTRA Patron hosted a dinner in support of the work of the Institute. 

    The dinner marked three years of MISTRA’s existence and provided an opportunity for the Institute to report back on its work and achievements since its establishment in 2010.

    Mr Ramaphosa presented the Keynote address, entitled: ‘The South African Journey To A Social Compact’ to an audience of MISTRA donors, business leaders, members of MISTRA’s research community, and members of the academy.


    Cyril Ramaphosa, Shanduka Group Executive Chairman

    For South Africa to achieve the development and growth we seek, we need to develop a social compact that commits every section of society to common objectives and an agreed set of actions.

    As we approach the 20th anniversary of the attainment of democracy, we can point to significant progress in establishing stable and resilient democratic institutions, in turning around our economy and placing it on a path of growth, and in addressing many of the basic needs of the poor.

    But, we are acutely aware that we still have massive challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. If we fail to meaningfully address these challenges, not only will we be unable to right the economic and social wrongs of apartheid, but we may find that the very achievements of the last two decades are gradually eroded.

    South Africa needs substantially faster growth whose benefits are shared among all our people, particularly the poor. Our priority is to create employment for the millions of South Africans who are without work.

    However, we need to confront the reality that our economy does not have the skills to compete with countries with skills intensive industries, and our cost structure is too high to be competitive in labour intensive sectors.

    Ideally, we would like to move up the value chain through better skills and higher capital investment. We would like all our workers to get jobs in globally competitive sectors that pay high wages and provide comprehensive benefits. The reality of course is that many of the unemployed lack the skills to get jobs in these sectors.

    Full Text of Speech: Ramaphosa Patrons Dinner.pdfRamaphosa Patrons Dinner.p


    MISTRA IN THE MEDIA

    Progress is the essence of tradition

    By Mcebisi Ndletyana

    HERITAGE Day catapulted Mdantsane to national headlines yet again. This East London township, the second biggest after Joburg’s Soweto, was the centre of this year’s celebration. East London hadn’t really been pampered with such national attention since 2008. Even then, the attraction was heritage. And just like in 2008, unseemly scenes marked this year’s heritage activity.

    The township seems determined to live up to its reputation. In Mdantsane, the saying goes: “Inkawu ityiw’ ilila, imfene isinda ngo-goloza” – shit happens, only the toughest survive. Though both events were marred by controversy, they differed in meaning.

    The 2008 controversy stemmed from disagreement over representation, while this year’s suggests contestation over ownership.Residents rejected a memorial that was erected in honour of the victims of the 1985 massacre. They were killed on their return from Victoria Mxenge’s funeral; a human rights lawyer who had died at the merciless hands of the Bantustan police.


    To download full article: MMB18.pdfMMB18.pdf


      *******************************************

    Why SA still love their ballot papers

    By Mcebisi Ndletyana

     

    NEXT year’s election will see a new generation of voters casting their ballots. These are voters born into freedom. Not only were they born free, they came into consciousness in an increasingly hi-tech society. They were introduced to technology much earlier than their older counterparts. Because the “born-frees” are accustomed to the convenience of technology, they might find long queues and the use of ballot papers rather primitive. These folk only know a computerised world. This begs the question: is South Africa ready for electronic voting?

    The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) probed this question in March. The investigation was not out of character. For an organisation that has mostly been led by old-timers such as Johann Kriegler and Brigalia Bam, the IEC has been technologically savvy. It has won numerous awards as a result.

    The idea of exploring the possibility of e-voting, however, did not emanate from within. It was suggested by Kgalema Motlanthe during his acceptance of the 2009 election results when he was president. The proceedings at the IEC colloquium were quite enlightening.

    *Originally published in the Sunday Independent

     

    PDF of article: Mce13Oct.pdfMce13Oct.pdf


    MISTRA PEOPLE


    Tanya Abrahamse, MISTRA Board Member appointed to the United Nation's Scientific Advisory Board

    Tanya Abrahamse2.jpg

    Tanya Abrahamse, MISTRA Board Member and Chief Executive Officer of
    the South African National Biodiversity Institute, is one of twenty-six eminent scientists, representing natural, social and human sciences and engineering who have been appointed to a Scientific Advisory Board, announced by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

    The new Board will provide advice on science, technology and innovation (STI) for sustainable development to the UN Secretary-General and to Executive Heads of UN organizations. UNESCO will host the Secretariat for the Board.

    The fields covered by the Board range from the basic sciences, through engineering and technology, social sciences and humanities, ethics, health, economic, behavioral, and agricultural sciences, in addition to the environmental sciences.

    The board will aim to ensure that up-to-date and rigorous science is appropriately reflected in high-level policy discussions within the UN system, offering recommendations on priorities related to science for sustainable development that should be supported or encouraged; providing advice on up-to-date scientific issues relevant to sustainable development; identifying knowledge gaps that could be addressed outside the UN system by either national or international research programs; identifying specific needs that could be addressed by on-going assessments; and advising on issues related to the public visibility and understanding of science.

    “The creation of the Scientific Advisory Board follows on a wide-ranging consultation work entrusted to UNESCO by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.  “It brings together scientists of international stature, and will serve as a global reference point to improve links between science and public policies.”

     

    For more information click here

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    Dr Betchani Tchereni – Senior Researcher in the Faculty of Political Economy

    Betchani Henry Mbuyampungatete Tchereni holds a PhD at the North-West University and Bachelor of Social Science (Economics) and a Master of Arts (Economics), received in in 2004 and 2008 respectively, from the University of Malawi.
    Dr
    Tchereni has worked as a trade and business promotion officer in the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Malawi before embarking on his academic and research career at the University of Malawi, where he was the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Commerce. During his tenure at the university of Malawi, Dr Tchereni managed several research projects commissioned by the United Nations and the Southern African Development Community.
    He was also a Research Fellow in Development Economics at the North-West University and has published widely in research areas of development economics, the political economy of energy, energy poverty and economic growth.
    Before joining MISTRA in October 2013, he was a senior lecturer and researcher at Regenesys Business School in Sandton, Johannesburg.   

    DOWNLOAD A PDF OF Monthly Briefing#18: 2MMB18.pdf .pdf2MMB18.pdf .pdf

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