December 2012

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Film Spearheads Campaign to End War on Drugs: 'Breaking The Taboo'

Picture credit: As seen on Breaking the Taboo. Video In 2011 a group of world leaders including seven ex-presidents set up The Global Commission on Drug Policy to end the 40-year 'War on Drugs' -- but wars are easier to start than they are to finish. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, "Breaking the Taboo" is a film that follows the Commission on its mission to break the political taboo over the US-led War on Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years. It calls for the United Nations and all...

South Africa's Non-Existent Affordable Housing Programme

Picture credit: www.elger.ru Anna Majavu - The government's recent demolition of houses in Lenasia, apart from anything else, has exposed how inadequate the state is at providing housing for those who neither qualify for bank mortgages, nor for RDP houses. The Lenasia families seem to fall into the category of those who qualify for so-called “gap housing” on the basis that they earn between R2200 and about R7500 per month and can therefore afford to pay for their homes. However, gap housing is being rolled out at a...

Venezuela's Housing Revolution

Picture credit: As seen on The Real News Network Video Venezuela is experiencing a new housing boom. Cranes can be seen dotting the skyline of the capitol, Caracas, from the central district to the outskirts of the city. The new buildings popping up all over the city are part of a state-led housing initiative seeking to revolutionize access to housing and democratize the city's space. Venezuela's new housing projects are funded by the country's vast nationalized oil reserves. The program, which started in April 2011 has already constructed...

The Time has Come to Reform the International Climate Change Negotiation Model

Picture credit: Asleep at COP18 courtesy Arend Kuester/Flickr Glenn Ashton - With the conclusion of COP 18 in Doha, another set of climate change negotiations have come and gone with little real progress toward solving the urgent consequences of increased levels of atmospheric CO2. We clearly need to transform our approach to the problem. A year ago Durban was under virtual siege by government delegations from around the world, at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 17 meeting. The conference centre was enclosed in a tight police and UN...

Meeting Amidst the Rot

Picture credit: Jacob Zuma courtesy World Economic Forum Richard Pithouse - What stank in the past is the present's perfume -Lesego Rampolokeng, The Bavino Sermons, 1999 Many societies before us have travelled the well worn path that winds down the slope, gentle at first but then precipitous, that runs from the bliss of a new dawn and into the stench of a rotting dream. And many societies have discovered that neither shared participation in the great drama of a national struggle nor a founding leader that, like Kwame Nkrumah, Jawaharlal Nehru or Jomo Kenyatta,...

Steven Friedman on Making South Africa's Democracy Work for the Poor

Picture credit: SACSIS Video Talking about how to make South Africa's democracy work for the poor, Steven Friedman, Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy argues, "telescoping" all the countries problems onto one mediocre politician (Jacob Zuma) is misguided. Government does not have a bad record of "sheer physical provision to the poor". The real problem that South Africa has faced over the last 18 years has been that we haven't got to grips with the inequalities in the market economy, he...