Patrick Bond

Here’s a fairly simple choice: the global North would pay the hard-hit global South to deal with the climate crisis, either through the complicated and corrupt “Clean Development Mechanism” (CDM), whose projects have plenty of damaging side-effects to communities, or instead pay through other mechanisms that provide financing quickly, transparently and decisively to achieve genuine income compensation plus renewable energy to the masses.

With high-volume class strife heard in the rumbling of wage demands and the friction of township “service delivery protests”, rhetorical and real conflicts are bursting open in every nook and cranny of South Africa.

One of US president-elect Barack Obama’s leading advisers has done more damage to Africa, its economies and its people than anyone I can think of in world history, including even Cecil John Rhodes.

A far-reaching strategic debate is underway about how to respond to the global financial crisis.

In even the most exploitative African sites of repression and capital accumulation, sometimes corporations take a hit, and victims sometimes unite on continental lines instead of being divided and conquered. Turns in the class struggle might have surprised Walter Rodney, the political economist whose 1972 classic How Europe Underdeveloped Africa provided detailed critiques of corporate looting.

“We are the creditors!” insist a new layer of African social activists, victimised by the ongoing Third World debt crisis but now gathered to fight back.

Durban’s University of KwaZulu-Natal vice-chancellor Malegapuru Makgoba is expected to deliver an edict that the UKZN’s Centre for Civil Society (CCS) will close on December 31.

The March 29 election in Zimbabwe is very likely to result in President Robert Mugabe winning, by hook or by crook, a slim majority so as to avoid a run-off.

Should poor people be given pit latrines and other devices to limit their consumption of water? A resounding yes was heard at the Africa Sanitation conference held during February at the Luthuli International Conference Centre in Durban.

It is tragic but understandable that South African society ranks — with the United States and China — at the bottom of a recent worldwide climate-consciousness survey by polling firm Global Scan: only 45% of us believe global warming is a “serious problem”.

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