News in brief: 16 – 31 October 2021

James Sleight

From Stats SA: Annual consumer price inflation was up slightly in September, driven by Fuel, food and housing & utilities

September’s annual CPI figure is up slightly from 4,9% in August and 4,6% in July. This represents the fifth consecutive month with annual inflation above the 4,5% midpoint set by South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy.

Further reading:

Massive database of killings by police made public

The investigative watchdog group, Viewfinder, has released an online database of complaints (various forms of police brutality, corruption, death in custody, rape) registered against the South African police between April 2012 and March 2020. Users can filter by province, police station, type of complaint, or even by individual cases. Overall, the data “demonstrates that police officers implicated in violent crimes routinely escape accountability.” Of the over 47,000 registered cases in the database, fewer than 200 resulted in dismissals following disciplinary hearings, and approximately 300 cases resulting in criminal convictions leading to actual prison time. 

Viewfinder is an accountability journalism project in South Africa doing “long term investigations into abuses of power which impact on the public interest.” 

Further reading:


UN climate change study paints grim picture for world leaders and policy makers

The United Nations body , the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its report, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, ahead of the G20 summit meeting in Glasgow, Scotland. The IPCC was created to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation options.

Some key takeaways:

  • It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.

  • Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. 

  • Global surface temperature will continue to increase until at least the mid-century.

  • Global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded during the 21st century unless deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades.

  • Changes in the climate occur in direct relation to increasing global warming. These changes include: increases in the frequency and intensity of hot temperature extremes; severity of wet and dry events; increasing frequency and severity of tropical cyclones, and reductions in Arctic sea ice, snow cover and permafrost.

Constitutional court confirms warrantless searches in cordoned off areas unconstitutional

The Constitutional Court has struck down a section of the police act which allows for warrantless searches in cordoned off areas. This particular case arose after police conducted raids on people living in high-rise blocks in downtown Johannesburg. While ostensibly the warrantless raids in these high crime areas was billed as effort to round up criminals,  it is thought that they were in fact a police effort to target and harass undocumented immigrants.

 Further reading:


Civil society underwhelmed by Government proposal to replace the Covid-19 SRD grant

National Treasury has proposed a family grant that would replace the R350 Covid Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant. The new grant would be paid to heads of households. Civil society organisations lamented their lack of input into the government’s proposal, calling it  "secretive" and "closed door." On 28 October a civil society coalition including the Black Sash, #PayTheGrants and the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute condemned the proposed grant as "anti-poor" because it would exclude millions from having basic income support. Furthermore, organisations argue that paying the grant through heads of household will only "worsen gender power imbalances" and would be "administratively impossible to implement effectively".

Further reading:




Millions in Lottery funds spent on one-night “music and arts festival”

Mkhuseli Sizani and Raymond Joseph | GroundUp
10 August 2021

News in brief: 15 – 31 July 2021

James Sleight
30 July 2021

News in brief: 01 October – 15 October 2021

James Sleight
15 October 2021

News in brief: 1 - 15 November

James Sleight
15 November 2021

News in brief: 1 - 15 November

Finance Minister Godongwana gives # MTBPS2021; Dismal voter turnout at South Africa’s municipal elections; Petrol prices approach R20 per litre; Will load shedding impact matric exams?

News in brief: 16 – 31 October 2021

Annual consumer price inflation up slightly in September; Massive database of killings by police made public; UN climate change study paints grim picture; Constitutional court confirms warrantless searches in cordoned off areas unconstitutional; Civil society underwhelmed by Government proposal to replace the Covid-19 SRD grant

News in brief: 01 October – 15 October 2021

Stats SA on South Africa’s protected areas; Medical Research Council estimates Covid-19 has claimed nearly a quarter million South African lives; Report Studies pilot Global Basic Income Grant (BIG) projects since 2000; Gender-Based Violence Council Bill to Be Introduced to Parliament

News in brief: 16 September – 30 September 2021

Consumer inflation edges up in August; Komape family wins court battle seven years after their son drowned in a pit toilet; Covid-19 exposes South Africa’s broken food system; Teen pregnancies spike during pandemic

News in brief: 01 September – 15 September 2021

Gauteng Quality of Life survey shows heavy impact of Covid-19 on economy; 12.9 million apply for Covid19 SRD Grant; Bad news for S.A education as we emerge from Lockdown; Stats SA: Economy records fourth consecutive quarter of growth; Masks work and vaccine saves lives, but disinformation stands in the way.

News in brief: 16 – 31 August 2021

Can the government force us to be vaccinated?; Former Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini to be prosecuted for perjury; South African’s unemployment rate now the highest in the world; SA labour market is more favourable to men than women

News in brief: 1 – 15 August 2021

Concern over fate of SA’s children amidst the govt Covid19 response, Coal dependence of SA power industry, SASSA SRD grant application process under strain, Debate over Copyright Amendment Bill

News in brief: 15 – 31 July 2021

Re-instatement of SRD grant; Making 'Ecocide' an international crime; Police raids unfairly targeting poor.

News in brief: 1 – 15 July 2021

Lockdown impact on school dropout rates; Calls for basic income support; Govt spending breakdown

News in brief: 15 – 30 June 2021

Arts sector in crisis; ECD excluded from vaccinations; Shocking youth unemployment statistics; What is Juneteenth?

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