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Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

Patrick Bond Suggests Three Possible Outcomes for Eskom’s Power Crisis

Politics of Climate JusticePatrick Bond, director of the UKZN Centre for Civil Society and author of Politics of Climate Justice: Paralysis Above, Movement Below, has written an article for Pambazuka News about the three roads that might be taken out of the current power crisis.

The first, and most likely, outcome is for Eskom to muddle through the current crisis and come out the other side just as flawed and short-sighted as it is now. The second is a complete collapse of the system. The third possible scenario is one in which the country overhauls the power-generation system and redeploys skilled labourers to develop renewable energy sources.

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The coming fork in the road provides three distinct directions. The poorly-lit one straight ahead suffers from potholes that force stop-start-reverse maneuvers. Second, the most scary route away from this fork lacks streetlights and appears to be illuminated only by a brief, fiery meltdown – utter grid failure – at the end of the road. Then, no Eskom or municipal electricity supplies will be available for weeks, they say.

In a third direction, looking leftwards, a light flickers at the end of a dangerous tunnel, but to get there safely means slowing the vehicle to a manageable pace and tossing the greediest 1% of passengers out, thus allowing everyone else to at least enjoy basic-needs electricity.

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Patrick Bond to Participate in a Public Dialogue About the BRICS Bloc and South Africa in Cape Town

Politics of Climate Justice: Paralysis Above, Movement BelowPatrick Bond, Director of the Centre for Civil Society and author of Politics of Climate Justice: Paralysis Above, Movement Below will be participating in a public dialogue hosted by the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town.

Kudrat Virk will chair the discussion, and Anil Sooklal will be speaking along with Bond. The topic to be discussed is “South Africa and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Bloc”.

The event will take place at the Centre for the Book from 5:30 to 7 PM on Monday, 16 February.

Don’t miss it!

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Patrick Bond Speaks Out About eTV’s “Stasi-style Propaganda” and the De Hoop Dam

Politics of Climate JusticeClimate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil SocietyPatrick Bond wrote an article on Pambazuka News about the internal conflict that has damaged the reputation of eTV.

Bond is the author of Politics of Climate Justice: Paralysis Above, Movement Below and the editor of Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society.

In the article Bond writes about a deal made between Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel, eTV CEO Marcel Golding and eNews executive Bronwyn Keene-Young to lead the evening news with the story of the opening of President Jacob Zuma’s pet project, the $270 million De Hoop Dam. Golding has since resigned from his post.

Bond writes: “Patel’s ‘ham-fisted attempt at Stasi-style propaganda’ – as the Sunday Business Times described the abuse of power at eNews – makes transparent ‘just how wafer-thin the line really is between powerful people seeking propaganda and the information dished out to the public’.”

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Last week SA’s leading alternative to state broadcasting saw its integrity self-destruct. Personality battles are getting most attention but problems caused by structural conflicts of interests must be raised, investigated and resolved, as a leading example of malevolent state-corporate cronyism.

The biggest credibility crisis ever to hit South Africa’s independent media unfolded last week. Fewer than a half-dozen power-crazed corporate managers have destroyed the waning integrity – and in the process, the ownership structure – of the country’s most popular tv news station, eTV, which had aspired to become Africa’s answer to Al-Jazeera. These men are once-radical trade unionists – now gone to pot.

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Patrick Bond’s Politics of Climate Justice Named on The Guardian’s “Seminal” Top 10 List of Climate Change Books

Patrick Bond

 
Politics of Climate JusticePatrick Bond’s Politics of Climate Justice: Paralysis Above, Movement Below has been named as on of The Guardian’s top 10 “seminal” books on the climate change movement.

Other books on the list include Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism v the Climate, The End of Nature by Bill McKibben, Climate Politics and the Climate Movement in Australia by Verity Burgmann and Hans Baer, as well as Mark Lynas’ The God Species.

Politics of Climate Justice, which was published locally in late 2011, focuses on world leaders’ responses to climate change through the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties (COP), and concludes that global power blocs are incapable of reconciling the threat to the planet with their economies’ addiction to fossil fuels.

Bond is a professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

3. Politics of Climate Justice by Patrick Bond

This 2012 release comes from the popular scholar-activist Patrick Bond, from South Africa. Using examples from countries in the global south he argues that market-based instruments such as carbon trading and the clean-development mechanism are not working. They often have negative consequences for the local population, harm the environment and make little impact on reducing emissions.

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Patrick Bond Deliberates Issues Surrounding the BRICS Nexus in Africa

Politics of Climate JusticePatrick Bond, the author of Politics of Climate Justice, has written an article for Pambazuka News in which he responds to issues raised by Yash Tandon about the role of the BRICS nexus as an anti-imperialist movement.

In the article, Bond addresses the meaning and implications of the neoliberal international capitalist order and clears up some misconceptions about BRICS. He says that these are difficult and complicated issues which need to be carefully chewed through.

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In his May 21 article, ‘On sub-imperialism and BRICS-bashing’, contesting what I think are the tendencies in the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa nexus, Yash Tandon offers a chance to develop arguments further. He makes a few minor errors and misreads some arguments (Note 1). But he (‘YT’) asks some excellent ‘questions for further discussions.’ Right then, my (‘PB’) attempts at answers follow.

YT: 1. What is ‘the South African bourgeoisie’. Who are they? What is the source of their capital? Who owns and controls this capital?

PB: Three answers: 1) the biggest fraction remains white English-speaking, but it is an unpatriotic bourgeoisie which mainly took its money out of South Africa, forever, and which today from London, New York or Melbourne runs the global and domestic operations of Anglo, DeBeers, BHP Billiton, the other mining houses, Old Mutual and Liberty Life in insurance, SAB Miller beer, Didata info tech, Mondi paper, and a few others; 2) the next biggest is Afrikaner capital which decided to stay, especially the Sanlam empire; and 3) the other new black bourgeoisie includes Patrice Matsepe, Mzi Khumalo (in deep trouble for taking money out of the country illegally), Bridgette Radebe, Tokyo Sexwale, Cyril Ramaphosa, Khulubuse Zuma and a few other billionaries, who are allied with both the first bloc of the bourgeoisie within BEE deals, and with the state and parastatals in tenderpreneur projects. All have subimperialist tendencies, but it is the first and third I’d be most worried about, given Pretoria’s military role in the Central African Republic and DRC, on behalf of ruling-elite cronies and a nephew of the president.

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Video: Politics of Climate Justice Author Patrick Bond on Effects of Platinum Strike

Politics of Climate JusticeProfessor Patrick Bond, director of the Centre For Civil Society and author of Politics of Climate Justice: Paralysis Above, Movement Below, speaks to The Real News Network about the implications of the 2014 platinum strike on labour relations in South Africa.

The strike started in January 2014 and lasted four months – the longest and largest mine workers strike in South African history, according to Bond, who is also a professor at the University of Kwazulu-Natal.

Bond says the economy is about to go into a formal recession, and restrictions may be placed on future strikes.

Watch the video:

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Patrick Bond Takes a Look at Nigeria’s New GDP Figures

Politics of Climate JusticePatrick Bond, author of Politics of Climate Justice, has written an article for Pambazuka News about Nigeria’s recently released GDP figures, which theoretically trump South Africa’s.

Bond looks at how the numbers measure up against the country’s actual wealth and takes a critical look at the “neoliberal investment prospects of the 2000s – BRICS, MINT and CIVETS”.

Jim O’Neill – the Goldman Sachs banker who in 2001 coined the idea of a Brazil-Russia-India-China ‘BRIC’ serving as “building bricks of the 21st century world economy” – has another bright idea. He recently announced a new fascination with the Mexico-Indonesia-Nigeria-Turkey countries, which “all have very favourable demographics for at least the next 20 years, and their economic prospects are interesting.” O’Neill is now completing a BBC series on the MINTs, and no doubt will profit handsomely from investments made in these countries’ financial assets, the way any scurrilous marketer does when, brandishing an insider-trading portfolio, he draws naïve consumers to a product with limited shelf life.

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Patrick Bond Believes the BRICS Bloc Paints a Gloomy Picture for South Africa

Politics of Climate JusticePatrick Bond believes the BRICS bloc will in fact prove to be damaging to South Africa’s economy.

BRICS is an association of five major emerging national economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – intended to encourage economic growth and social development. Writing for Pambazuka News, however, Bond insists that the infrastructure investments entered into involving South Africa are “mainly aimed at extraction of resources, along neo-colonial lines”.

In March 2013, it was telling that the single biggest deal announced at the BRICS summit was a Chinese bank loan to Transnet of $5 billion; and it is telling that exactly a year later, the largest investment Transnet has ever undertaken was announced: $4.8 billion in locomotive purchases.

Such locomotives were once made in South Africa; now the critical first batch of more than 1000 will be imported from China, through the Durban port.

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Patrick Bond Discusses the Infrastructure Development Bill Hearings

Politics of Climate JusticePatrick Bond, author of Politics of Climate Justice, has written a column for Pambazuka News on the recent Infrastructure Development Bill hearings, which “could give fast-track approvals for mines, oil pipelines and refineries, coal-fired power plants, ports, and new airports”.

Bond wonders whether the mention of improvements to access to water, sanitation, clinics and schools was “snuck in to make the mega-project bias more palatable”?

He stresses that these two types of development cannot be seen in the same light. The latter “needs a new sense of urgency”, while Bond is critical of the Mineral-Energy Complex’s fast-track projects.

What we academics often term South Africa’s ‘Minerals-Energy Complex‘ (MEC) keeps getting away with murder, including economic strangulation. As just one example, in spite of a recent trade surplus, the balance of payments is going into extreme deficit largely because MEC multinational mining houses – especially BHP Billiton, Anglo, DeBeers, Lonmin and Glencore – vacuum out profits to their London and Melbourne financial headquarters. This leaves SA basking not in BRICS prosperity but instead leading the slide of the ‘Fragile Five’: big emerging markets suffering vast capital outflows. Witness the Rand’s crash by a third last year.

Yet the overwhelming bulk of taxpayer subsidies to the MEC will amplify this crisis, via the National Development Plan’s two main Strategic Infrastructure Projects: the Waterberg-Richards Bay coal export rail-line and the Durban port-petrochemical expansion, which are likely to consume far more than the roughly R500 billion now budgeted.

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Patrick Bond Discusses the Infrastructure Development Bill

Politics of Climate JusticePatrick Bond, author of Politics of Climate Justice, has written a column for the Daily Maverick on the Infrastructure Development Bill, which is currently under discussion in parliament.

Bond writes that, “A genuine people’s Parliament would have an easy time rewriting this bill. It would make our economy far less vulnerable to globalisation by stressing local connectivities. The mandate would be revised, to first and foremost meet basic human needs.” He goes on to say that we can reliably predict that none of these suggestions will be seriously considered, however.

What we academics often term South Africa’s ‘Minerals-Energy Complex‘ (MEC) keeps getting away with murder, including economic strangulation. As just one example, in spite of a recent trade surplus, the balance of payments is going into extreme deficit largely because MEC multinational mining houses – especially BHP Billiton, Anglo, DeBeers, Lonmin and Glencore – vacuum out profits to their London and Melbourne financial headquarters. This leaves SA basking not in BRICS prosperity but instead leading the slide of the ‘Fragile Five’: big emerging markets suffering vast capital outflows.

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