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MISTRA Newsletter - December 2021

The Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) takes pleasure in presenting our last newsletter for 2021. We are excited to share the launch of MISTRA’s latest research publication entitled, Youth in South Africa: Agency, (in)visibility and national development. Also, we are proud to share our recently released 2021 local government elections report, When Wedding Bells Ring: Coalitions with(out) concord: Analysis of South Africa’s 2021 local elections and coalitions.

In this issue, we also report on:

  • MISTRA’s participation at the Science Forum South Africa 2021
  • Nelson Mandela University conferring an honorary doctorate on Executive Director;
  • the Director Operations’ appointment to the National Planning Commission;
  • Rebuilding Government webinar, in partnership with Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO); and
  • published opinion pieces written by MISTRA staff.

We hope you enjoy the issue and wish you all the best over the festive season.


Watch the recording of the webinar here
On the 14th of December 2021, MISTRA released a report analysing the recent local government elections under the title: When Wedding Bells Ring: Coalitions With(out) Concord .

MISTRA’s report goes beyond the 1st of November 2021 local government elections (LGE2021), and explores the conversion of the electoral mandates into functional local government.

When Wedding Bells Ring presents a set of 19 compact analyses, written by a range of experts and researchers including Professor Susan Booysen, Joel Netshitenzhe, Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana, and Advocate Jennica Beukes amongst others, exploring the state of coalition formation in the wake of the LGE2021. The analyses mine the election results to understand the reasons for and impact of the outcomes. It follows through with analyses of the emerging coalition culture shaping a large proportion of South Africa’s hung municipalities.
Download the full report
Watch the recording of the session here
MISTRA presented the findings of its priority research project, LEAP 4.0: African Perspectives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution at the Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) on 2nd December 2021.

The SFSA was hosted by the Department of Science and Innovation under the theme, “Igniting conversations for World Science Forum 2022”.

The discussion was led by co-editor of the LEAP publication, Prof Erika Kraemer-Mbula and chapter contributors, Prof Alison Gillwald, Research ICT Africa and Khwezi Mabasa, Senior Researcher at MISTRA.
More about the LEAP 4.0 publication
Watch the recording of the session here
MISTRA launched its latest research publication entitled, Youth in South Africa: Agency, (in)visibility and national development on 23rd November 2021.

The research-based volume, edited by Professor Ariane De Lannoy, Professor Malose Langa and Dr Heidi Brooks, takes stock of the nation’s development as it affects young people.

More information about how to purchase the publication
Download Policy Brief
Joel Netshitenzhe's Opening Remarks
Youth entrepreneurship: A realistic strategy for alleviating youth unemployment?
Identity formation and challenging stereotypes
Youth in the time of a global pandemic
MISTRA and the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) hosted their last webinar of the series on ‘Rebuilding South Africa’ on the 24th of November 2021. The last webinar on Rebuilding Government examined the functionality of the state, focusing on some of the state's weaknesses, as well as moments of resilience, that were exposed and exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the July 2021 uprising.

Catch up on the full webinar series (Rebuilding Communities, Economies and Government) below.
Rebuilding Government Recording
Rebuilding Communities Recording
Rebuilding Economies Recording
Executive Director, Joel Netshitenzhe was lauded with an honorary doctorate during the Nelson Mandela University’s summer graduation on the 15th of December 2021. The award was, for among other reasons, his contribution to the struggle against apartheid and the subsequent building of the democratic state and process of nation formation in South Africa.
Download Acceptance Speech
Watch the proceedings here (32:20)
President Ramaphosa appointed members of the third National Planning Commission (NPC) on the 30th November 2021. MISTRA’s Director Operations, Dr Yacoob Abba Omar has been appointed as one of the Commissioners, whose mandate is to, amongst others;
  • Lead the development of a strategy for a post Covid-19 economy and society to deal with the country’s triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality by 2030;
  • Support strong leadership that will be required to mobilize society to promote the acceleration in implementing the National Development Plan towards 2030; and
  • Assist in forging a conversation among key stakeholders, leading to effective and impactful social compacts on a number of key issues facing the country.
The Commissioners, will serve on a part-time basis for a term of five years, commencing on the 1st December 2021.
North-West University (NWU) Honorary Doctorate
MISTRA's Chairperson of the Council of Advisors, Geraldine Fraser Moleketi  was bestowed the Honorary Doctorate, Honoris Cause by the North-West University (NWU) for her exceptional contributions to the South African political landscape, governance and society. In addition, the award recognised her commitment to South Africa’s transformation.
Housing Development Agency Chair Appointment

MISTRA Board Member, Dr. Tshilidzi Ratshitanga has been appointed to serve as Chairperson of the Housing Development Agency.

Lemonists of the world unite, you have nothing to lose..., Abba Omar, Business Day
SA’s political transition to coalition politics, Nompumelelo Runji, Business Day
South Africa’s new climate finance deal for the low carbon transition a step in the right direction, Nqobile Xaba, Polity
Struggle for votes: ANC must start acting like a party, Abba Omar, Business Day
Coalitions conundrum, Susan Booysen, City Press
The urgent conversation that we should be having every day: The future of South Africa’s youth, Heidi Brooks, Daily Maverick
Only rebuilding trust can stop us sleepwalking into crisis, Abba Omar, Business Day
Is debate surrounding SA economic policy just kabuki? Abba Omar, Business Day
The rules of the coalition game shaping up pre-emptively, Susan Booysen, SABC News
Turnout in the metros – much at stake for the political parties, Susan Booysen, SABC News
The politics of coalitions in South Africa, Susan Booysen, SABC News
Pledges by ANC candidates miss the mark after the party’s many shortcomings, Susan Booysen, Daily Maverick

Power, politics and ideology: Understanding the tug of war in Johannesburg, Bonolo Makgale, News24

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