2014 was a political and economic roller coaster. In this week’s cover story, journalist Liesl Peyper gives a round-up of all 2014’s top stories.
Although South Africa embraces a culture of entrepreneurship, there are still significant stumbling blocks of which labour regulation tops the list. The report found the cost of firing workers as the most notable detractor for entrepreneurship, and the results of the World Economic Forum (WEF) confirms this.
Radebe and his ministry held a press briefing this morning after both the Gauteng High Court and the Constitutional Court had rejected the Marikana miners’ request that the courts compel government to pay their legal fees. Radebe said government departments which take part in the hearings are represented by private legal practitioners because they are entitled to legal representation at government’s expense as employees of government.
The preparation phase of the NHI pilot project kicked off in April last year and was funded by a R1bn conditional grant from National Treasury. This morning’s report, however, paints a grim picture: as of 1 June this year, 556 primary healthcare facilities in the identified districts have been prioritised, but their readiness for the rollout of primary healthcare leave a lot to be desired.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan yesterday announced the names and terms of reference for the long-anticipated tax review committee. In his budget speech in February, Gordhan announced his intention to assess South Africa’s tax policy framework and to see whether it is supporting inclusive growth, employment, development and fiscal sustainability.
Davies pointed out that the playing field with regard to agricultural trade is all but level. “Anybody who thinks agricultural trade operates on free market principles; I don’t know what you’ve been smoking,” he said, citing the “enormous” subsidies EU countries receive for their agricultural products. “Some of these subsidies have been calculated to be more than the gross national product of some African countries. So it means that a country that is being subsidised has enormous capacity to enter markets at the expense of local producers.”