CURRENT AFFAIRS

READERSHIP:
Political analysts; professors and students of political science; non-governmental organisations and think tanks dealing with electoral issues and general readers interested in political and electoral issues.
Size: 230mm x 150mm
Page Extent: 224
Format: Soft Paperback
Price: R249.95(VAT Incl)
ISBN: 978-0-9922329-9-3
Publication Date: 15 Sept. 2017
Rights: World.
Electoral systems and accountability
COMPILED BY: Kathlena Walther
Countries deemed to be democratic are characterised by regular, free and fair elections. These are meant to be the litmus tests of elected officials’ accountability to the electorate. Hence those politicians who did not perform well are not re-elected. But which electoral system is the most appropriate for holding elected officials accountable – especially in the South African context where the system of proportional representation (PR) is perceived to have distanced the country’s public representatives from those who vote for them at both national and local levels. PR, it is said, puts power in the hands of party bosses.

Electoral Systems and Accountability looks at, and analyses, different electoral systems giving their pros and cons. It looks at how different systems operate in Germany, Ghana, Kenya, India, the United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe.

The book provides food for thought not only for political analysts but for the broader South African public who may feel short-changed by the current PR system. Much as the Constitution has charged parliament with holding government to account, loyalty to the party that decides who will be on the electoral list has compromised many elected officials into towing the party line rather than acting in the interests of their constituencies.

Author Information.
This book is based on a study that was undertaken on electoral systems and accountabiliy by The Forum for Public Dialogue (FPD) and was compiled by Kahlena Walther, a well established researcher.

CURRENT AFFAIRS

READERSHIP:
General readers with an interest in politics and current affairs specifically South Africa
Size: 230mm x 150mm
Page Extent: 288 (including photographs)
Format: Soft Paperback
Price: R264.95(VAT Incl)
ISBN: 978-0-9922329-7-9
Publication Date: March 2017
Rights: World





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Unmasked
AUTHOR: Khulu Mbatha
FOREWORD: Ahmed Kathrada
Khulu Mbatha has been with the ANC for over 40 years and held various positions within the structures of the organisation. He is a self-declared member of the ‘group of 101 stalwarts’ who are signatories to the document ‘For the sake of our future’

In a contemplative yet hard-hitting book, the author reflects on the failure of the ANC in its 22 years of governing South Africa, to honour the principles and values of the Freedom Charter and to come to terms with the Charter’s precepts for running the economy. The negotiations at Codesa and the compromises the ANC had to make, set the scene. Yet things did not turn out as expected. Mbatha asks? Were the expectations and hopes vested in the ANC unrealistic? What has given rise to such widespread feelings of disappointment? How do we account for this failure to deliver long-lasting, meaningful and tangible results? With a series of penetrating questions such as, how prepared was this liberation movement to become a democratic government? did they understand the economy and how to manage it? did the speed of the transition and change wrong-foot the ANC? Is there still a role for the Tripartite Alliance? Mbatha probes the motives of the ANC. He muses about the course of events before and since the transition to democracy that should have told us then, and certainly tell us now, where the ANC was going so terribly wrong.

Throughout the text, aptly-chosen observations from the main players – from the ANC itself and from its detractors – and from commentators point to the thinking behind the decisions (or lack of decisions), about the economy in particular, that have brought South Africa to where it is today. This book charts the disappointment of an ANC stalwart that, in his own words, ‘after 22 years of freedom, part of our dreams seem to be fading away’. It is a searing and honest account, a must-read for everyone who wants to know what really happened.

Author Information.
Dr Khulu Mbatha has been involved with the ANC for over forty years and was special advisor to the former president and deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, He earned his Master’s degree and PhD in Philosophy from the Freidrich –Schiller University in Jena, Germany(1977-1987). In 1985 he led the GDR students’ delegation to the ANC’s National Consultative Conference in Kabwe, Zambia and from 1988 – 1990 he was the ANC’s chief representative in Athens, Greece.

“The ANC has been a major driver for change in South Africa and a source of inspiration to many struggles across the globe. Whether it can self correct to continue being a force for progressive political change is the core issue that this book revolves around.” Ahmed Kathrada

CURRENT AFFAIRS

Readership:
General public with an interest in current affairs, electoral issues and biographies.
Size: 230mm x 150mm
Page Extent: 248 (Including Photographs)
Format: Soft Paperback
Price: 249.95 (VAT Incl)
ISBN: 978-9922329-3-1
Publication Date: July 2015
Rights: World





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Democracy: More than just elections

AUTHOR: Brigalia Bam
FOREWORD: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

Brigalia Bam’s name is synonymous with the independent Electoral Commission (IEC). Understandably so-she spent 14 years at the IEC, two years as a commissioner and 12 as its chairperson.

Long before the IEC and a post-apartheid South Africa even became a reality, Brigalia was honing her leadership skills, along with her passionate activism. Democracy more than just elections is also an account of Brigalia’ s journey from rural Transkei to a leader of world organisations such as the Young Women’s Christian Association(nationally and internationally), the Word Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland as well as the International Union federation. After living abroad for 21 years Brigalia returned home to become general secretary of the SA Council of Churches and later to join the IEC.

As a young girl, from around the age of 10, she supervised teams of young married women, older than her who worked in her family’s fields, including managing their time. She wrote letters on their behalf to their husbands who were away working on the mines and as a result she gained the respect of those who were older than her. This enabled her to relate to many different people, of all ages. It equipped her with valuable life skills and the ability to serve people, which became critical to the leadership roles she would later occupy at various organisations like the Young Women’s Christian Association, the World Council of Churches and the International Union Federation. After living in Europe for 21 years she returned to South Africa and joined the South African Council of Church.

The book is also an account of the IEC’s success in managing elections in South Africa as well as meeting challenging situations in some of the most troubled parts of Africa, either by providing technical assistance or serving as election observers.

The ‘burning issues’ and challenges that she faced are chronicled in the book, from the toilet wars in the Western Cape and Free State to Tlokwe, a convoluted saga that continues today. She discusses the link between service delivery protests and elections, boundary demarcation battles and other contentious issues that tested her integrity.

The book is a plea to South Africans to recognise that women are a powerful force in advancing democracy; that their leadership roles must be encouraged and nurtured. It is also presents an argument for a new electoral system for South Africa, one that will encourage greater responsibility and accountability from all levels of society.

Democracy more just elections also presents an argument for a review of the current electoral system in South Africa

She gives an insider account of the challenges, successes and pitfalls of an a credible independent constitutional body, dubbed, the ‘ cornerstone of democracy’.” Professor Barney Pityana.

CURRENT AFFAIRS

READERSHIP:
This book will appeal strongly to general readers, business leaders, policy-makers and analysts.
Size: 200mm x 150mm
Page Extent: 156
Format: Soft Paperback
Price: 174.95 (VAT Incl)
ISBN:  978-0-620-54988-2
Publication Date: November 2012
Rights: World

How to Fix South Africa

EDITOR: Ray Hartley

What will it take to fix South Africa? This is the probing question concerned South Africans everywhere ask. While most South Africans have varying opinions about what the country needs, many will agree that unemployment, especially that of the youth, is chronic, and one of our most critical issues. Many also agree that jobs are not expected to be forthcoming from traditional sources of employment and that a more innovative approach has to be adopted.

The Sunday Times, in its bid to highlight this issue and seek positive solutions, posed this question to a number of leading thinkers and opinion-makers in the country. Their responses appeared as part of the “Each One Hire One” series of articles published in The Sunday Times early in 2012. These well considered, thought-provoking articles were contributed by, amongst others, key figures in politics, mining, banking and social development and have now been published in this volume.

Author Information:
Ray Hartley began his journalism career as a boxing writer for the Weekly Mail (Mail & Guardian). Ray worked briefly at Business Day before joining The Sunday Times as Political Reporter in 1993 and covered Nelson Mandela’s presidency as the newspaper’s political correspondent based in Parliament. He was The Sunday Times’ Cape Town Bureau Chief, Political Editor, Managing Editor and Deputy Editor before becoming the launch Editor of The Times, The Sunday Times’ daily newspaper in 2007. He is currently an Editor at large at Times Media.

“Let us choose to work together, support each other, and create synergies ammg us so we can each make our humble contribution to a better and proud South Africa.” Pravin Gordhan