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Democratic Transformation of Education in South Africa

27–28 September 2000, Stellenbosch Lodge Country Hotel, Stellenbosch

From Angola in the south-west through the Congos to Sudan in the north-west, a conflict zone exists which passes through the heart of Africa. Over the past four decades this has accounted for the death of millions, while contributing to the displacement of millions more. More depressing is the fact that contagion has occurred and now affects areas in Southern Africa, North and East Africa and West Africa.Many of these conflicts are intrastate and their roots often lie in contested perceptions of ethno-religious identity.

Globalisation and International Relations: Challenges and Opportunities for Provinces

31 August-1 September, Kromme Rhee, Stellenbosch

"Globalisation" is a popular term used by governments, businesses, academics and a range of diverse non-governmental organisations. It also, however, signifies a new paradigm within world politics and economic relations. While national governments for many years dictated the international political and economic scene, international organisations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation have now become significant roleplayers. In this "global village" national governments have lost some of their importance and perhaps their powers in favour of these major international organisations.Within the variety of federal systems found around the world there is at least one common denominator, namely that there is more than one level or sphere of government with constitutionally allocated powers and functions. In these systems the changes in global or international relations referred to above have an additional effect on the particular countries. It causes provinces, states or Länder to re-evaluate their role, in particular their role in international relations. Global matters – for example the creation of a free trade area – impacts at both the national or federal level of government, as well as at the provincial level.

Local Government Elections 2000: From Transition to Consolidation

20–21 September 2000, Cedar Park Convention Centre, Woodmead, Johannesburg

Fundamental to democracy is the notion that “the people shall govern”. This implies that structures andsystems are in place that provide citizens with a democratic right and responsibility to become involvedin government and governance. The goal motivating the transformation of local government is to developa framework and process that allows for effective government. This is a process that seeks to workclosely with local citizens and communities to find ways of meeting their needs and developing strategies to improve their quality of life. Furthermore, it seeks innovative methods to enhance and sustain the delivery of services, especially to those communities most in need.

The Future of South Africa’s Constituency System

Rietvleidam, 5 July 2000

As a result of recent calls by politicians, civil society and the media for changes to South Africa’s constituency system for public representatives, the Khululekani Institute for Democracy – in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation – held a conference entitled The Future of South Africa’s Constituency System at Rietvleidam on 5 July 2000. The aim of the conference was to assess and evaluate the effectiveness and future of South Africa’s electoral system, as well as to discuss and propose ways of strengthening the linkages between public representatives and citizens.

Opposition in South Africa’s New Democracy

28–30 June 2000, Kariega Game Reserve, Eastern Cape

Following its triumph in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) was again returned to power, this time with almost two-thirds of the vote, and hence because of South Africa’s adoption of the national list system of proportional representation, nearly two-thirds of themembers of parliament (MPs). This result appeared to reinforce analysis which suggested that the ANC was becoming a ‘dominant’ political party – that is, one that was unlikely to lose any electoral contest for national power in the foreseeable future.This in turn aroused fears in some quarters that the ANC might become increasingly unaccountable, and perhaps increasingly arrogant in its use of the state machinery. Consequently, the post election period saw the development of a debate in the media about what role opposition parties – apparently excluded from power long term (although the Inkatha Freedom Party continued to serve as a juniorpartner in government with the ANC) – should and could play, especially given their state of fragmentation.A larger number of difficult questions began to be posed: should the opposition parties seek to combine, and if so, along what lines and around what principles? Should they seek to oppose ‘robustly’ or ‘constructively’? Was there a danger that unity amongst particular opposition parties might bring about a further racialisation of South African politics?

Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in South Africa

Conference 17–19 May 2000

The conference was organised by the Economics Desk: Justice and Peace Department of the Southern African Catholic Bishop’s Conference, together with the Bethlehem Social Academy and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The Justice and Peace Department believes it is important for local people to be involved with local government in the process of transformation, since this is their democratic right according to the national constitution. Economic literacy is therefore one of our main programmes, the aim of which is to help people play a more meaningful role in their communities.

Regional Integration in Southern Africa: Comparative International Perspectives

19-20 June 2000

The path and progress of the regional integration process in Southern Africa faced, during 2000, ongoing crises in Zimbabwe, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), three of the region’s four largest states. With this in mind, the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), in conjunction with the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the British High Commission in Pretoria, and the Universities of the Witwatersrand and London, staged a conference from 19–20 June 2000 on Reviewing Regional Integration in Southern Africa: Comparative International Experiences. This report is based on the papers presented at that event. For your convenient download the it is subdivided in a number of different pdf-files.

Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation: the Role of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

29 March 2000, Jan Smuts House, Wits University, Johannesburg

The seminar on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation: the Role of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was inspired by the March 1999 Tokyo meeting convened to discuss nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. As the KAF, IIPS and BCSIA meeting emphasised, the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament process is not limited to a small number of global powers, but is rather a broad undertaking which should encompass states from both the northern industrialised nations and the southern developingnations. Given that South Africa was the first state to produce clandestinely and then dismantle and destroy nuclear weapons, it seemed appropriate to take up the challenge of the Tokyo meeting and extend the debate on nuclear non-proliferation at a seminar in Johannesburg. South Africa’s fervent anti-nuclear policy – consolidated after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994 – also provided an inspirational model to other states possessing, or considering the manufacture of, nuclear weapons.

Business and Human Rights in South Africa

Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, 30–31 October 1999

The National Human Rights Trust believes that organised business (i.e. from the factory floor up to the highest levels of management) bears the crunch of these centrifugal forces which currently dominate the southafrican society. It is, furthermore, an unassailable fact that business has a vital role to play in the successful transition/transformation of society to that of a fully-fledged democracy. Business has to therefore be assisted in the awesome task facing it in that regard. One way of so assisting business, is to create opportunities where leaders from business may raise their concerns, share their experiences, air their views and, hopefully, also learn from one another and from others how these challenges may be met.

Politics and Media in Southern Africa

21–23 September 1999, Safari Court Hotel, Windhoek, Namibia

The publication is a compilation of papers presented at two conferences for journalists held in Windhoek, Namibia and Durban, South Africa in 1999. The Windhoek conference was funded by KAS’s Harare office and the countries represented at this regional conference were Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The Durban conference, which was a national conference involving only South African journalists, was funded by KAS’s Johannesburg office.In order to provide a legal perspective, we have included the statutes of the Republic of South Africa – Radio: Independent Media Commission Act No. 148 of 1993 and the Press Laws of the Federal Republic of Germany.