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The Good News edition: Reforms

Electoral reform

Thanks to a Constitutional Court ruling in June, soon you can run for office in SA elections without having to join a political party. More people running for office means increased competition in our democracy, making our democracy even healthier. 

Win for domestic workers

They’re the unsung heroes of our society, keeping our homes running, often with very little pay. But until 2020, domestic workers could not claim for compensation if they were injured on the job, unlike any other worker. Crazy, right? Now, a Constitutional Court ruling says they should be treated like all other employees – they should be compensated if they’re injured at work. It’s a huge victory for the helpers at the heart of our homes. 

Air pollution

We’ve all seen the plumes of pollution billowing from Eskom’s coal power stations, a reminder of the health and environmental costs of our biggest source of electricity. Until now, no one has been able to get Eskom to clean up its act and improve SA’s air pollution problem. 

But in 2020, the NPA decided to charge Eskom for failing to comply with national laws around air pollution. Eskom’s Kendal plant is emitting too much pollution, the NPA says. Worse, Eskom appears to have lied about just how bad the pollution was. SA has laws that govern the levels of  air pollution, and now that those laws are being enforced, we can all breathe a little easier.

Economy rebounds

SA’s economy took a beating during 2020, thanks to the pandemic. 

But the economy took a turn for the better from July to October, growing by 66.1% on an annualised rate. There was growth in sectors such as manufacturing, mining, and accommodation, leading to more employment. 

Experts warn that the rebound comes off of a really low base, but it is a shot in the arm for our ailing economy and a source of much needed hope for SA. 

This brief was originally published in the good news edition of The Wrap here.

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