Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Public Services’ Category

Can Hippos Dance Elegantly? Presentation on public service employment

October 30th, 2013

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

In the run-up to the 3rd Biennial Labour Relations Conference for the public service, I needed to describe the core issue – creating an environment for innovative and “transformative” bargaining.

Elegant Dancing Hippos

My younger son loves watching “My Animal Family” and started laughing, when the narrator said “Even a Hippo can dance elegantly in water”. Later he would turn it into a riddle. “How does a hippo dance nicely”, he asked. The answer is you guessed it, in water – in an environment suited to its size. My older son, just says the unions must protest!

I had found my theme for the presentation.
Read more

Intervention in Soweto Education Crisis Could Chart Way For National Solution

April 7th, 2011

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen


Every so often, while on the way to the office, I would stop at the department of education’s district office, which covers Lenasia, Soweto and surrounds to ask the assembled workers why they were protesting.  I would quiz the workers about their demands. To be clear, there are times when ‘wild cat’ strikes are needed and obviously there were deeper issues under the surface that needed to be addressed. However, I always left with a deep sense of disappointment that the children were being failed.

Read more

Interview on parastatal restructuring

February 9th, 2011

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

A presidential review is underway to determine whether all of South Africa’s parastatals are fulfilling their mandate, creating value and enabling the government to grow the economy. I did an interview with CNBC Africa on the review process being undertaken.

3 Questions from the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement

October 28th, 2010

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

The dominant reading of the MTBPS is that it has steadied the ship, but a more demanding reading of it argues that given projections on social indicators and the political climate, a space existed for deeper reaching reforms. Read a more in-depth article on the MTBPS at SACSIS.

This post brings together three key questions that arise  from the 2010 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). This post is simply about putting some of the numbers together, so that I can begin to think through the options and implications.The three areas I am focussing on :

  • Local government share of revenue
  • Costing of services and effective spending
  • Economic growth and employment creation

Read more

Public Service Strike: Beyond Cowboy Bargaining

August 21st, 2010

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

We have been here before. The third major public service strike since 1994 is upon us. During the first major public service strike since democracy, in 1999, trade unions suffered a significant defeat with government’s unilateral implementation of wages. But in 2007, public service unions turned the tables on government conducting an unprecedented strike, and building an unlikely coalition with departments responsible for frontline service delivery. This resulted in the introduction of occupational specific dispensations (OSDs) that put new occupational classifications, promotions and grading systems in place.

Read more