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Press Release: Parliament Watch - Recent civil society monitoring emphasises below average performance of the legislatures
Author: Karel
Published: Feb 07, 2017

On 7 February 2017, two days before the official opening of Parliament in 2017, Parliament Watch, a collective of nine independent civil society organisations working towards the advancement of social justice, the realisation of human rights, and strong constitutional democracy in South Africa will be hosting discussions on the state of South Africa’s legislatures and the effectiveness of parliament and parliamentary committees in their functioning as a tool for oversight, openness and accountability.

Using SPLUMA for civic action on urban housing
Author: Jaap
Published: Feb 03, 2017

On 3 February, Jaap de Visser presented a lunch seminar at the Development Action Group (DAG) on how to use the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) for advocacy around urban housing challenges. The seminar was attended by housing rights activists based in Cape Town.

The state of South Africa’s legislatures - What’s next?
Author: Karel
Published: Jan 31, 2017

On 07 February 2017, in the days ahead of the opening of Parliament, Parliament Watch will be hosting an event, which aims to increase public scrutiny on legislatures through reflecting on their performance in 2016 and considering the prospects for stronger legislatures in 2017.

Can cities force us to install water saving devices?
Author: Karel
Published: Jan 30, 2017

The drought is forcing cities to consider new ways of regulating water use. This is critical because rapid urbanisation and increasing water scarcity will continue to put pressure on the availability of water.

DOI co-hosts doctoral colloquium at Addis Ababa University
Author: Karel
Published: Dec 05, 2016

On 3 and 5 December, nine doctoral students from the Centre for Federal Studies (Addis Ababa University) presented parts of their dissertations at a doctoral colloquium. Each student presented a chapter, received feedback and engaged in debate with peers.

Author: Jacob
Published: Nov 03, 2016

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has come under increasing criticism in recent years. Among the reasons for criticism are the declining rate and number of cases being prosecuted, and the perceived politicisation of the institution. Institutionally the NPA is in a deeply troubled state. Is the NPA in need of an oversight mechanism to oversee its decisions? Please join the Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI), a project of the Dullah Omar Institute (University of the Western Cape) for an armchair discussion on the future of the NPA.

Jaap de Visser and Stephen Berrisford comment on Agricultural Land Bill
Author: Jacob
Published: Oct 31, 2016

The Dullah Omar Institute, together with Stephen Berrisford, made a submission to the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill, 2016. The Bill seeks to regulate development activities on agricultural land in order to protect agricultural production. In essence, it forces municipalities to seek the consent of the Minister of Agriculture before approving the development of agricultural land.

SERP hosts a workshop to empower community leaders
Author: Jacob
Published: Sep 19, 2016

From May till September 2016, the Socio-Economic Rights Project at the Dullah Omar Institute hosted a series of Community Leaders Workshops to empower and raise awareness on human rights and social justice.

Jaap de Visser provides commentary on local elections and coalitions
Author: Jacob
Published: Aug 12, 2016

Prof De Visser, Director of the Dullah Omar Institute and local government expert has been providing expert analysis in various media on the 2016 elections and on coalitions. He explained the rules governing elections and particularly the rules impacting on the efforts to build coalitions in so called 'hung councils'.

Prof De Visser helps draft plan to implement New Urban Agenda
Author: Jacob
Published: Aug 01, 2016

On 28 and 29 July, Prof Jaap de Visser participated in an Expert Group Meeting, convened by UNHABITAT on the sidelines of PrepCom 3 in Surabaya, Indonesia. PrepCom 3 was the third meeting of the Preparatory Committee, established by the UN to prepare for HABITAT 3 in October 2016 in Quito.

Guide and video on local government elections launched
Author: Jacob
Published: Jul 22, 2016

On 20 July, Jaap de Visser addressed a seminar convened by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung to mark the launch of the book "Electing Councillors" and the video "Do you know what you are voting for? He shared the platform with Deputy Minister Andries Nel who delivered the key note address.

Rules for 2016 Local Elections Explained
Author: Jacob
Published: Jul 05, 2016

Jaap de Visser and Nico Steytler, both professors at the Dullah Omar Institute, have written a manual entitled: “Electing Councillors - A Guide to Municipal Elections” which explains the rules for local government elections. It discusses the rules for voter registration, party registration, ward candidates and party lists. It also explains what happens on voting day, how votes are counted and how results are determined.

Make your Mark: do you know what you are voting for?
Author: Karel
Published: Jul 05, 2016

On 3 August, millions of voters will exercise their right to vote and decide who controls South Africa’s 257 municipalities. The stakes are high because municipalities deal with basic services and parties are competing for control of powerful cities, such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and eThekwini.

OPPORTUNITY: Doctoral Studies in Multilevel Government, Law and Policy
Author: Jacob
Published: Jul 04, 2016

South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Multilevel Government, Law and Policy offers two full-time doctoral (LLD or DPhil) bursaries, commencing in the 2017 academic year. The study may focus on South Africa’s system of cooperative government, including provincial and local government, fiscal relations, and comparative federalism.

UWC Professor gets highest votes to be in the UN Committee
Author: Jacob
Published: Jul 04, 2016

Prof Benyam Dawit Mezmur, who is currently an Acting Director of the Dullah Omar Institute, Faculty of Law, at the University of the Western Cape was elected into UN Committee on the Rights of the Child with the highest votes of 152 states together with Mikiko Otani from Japan. Mezmur is being re-elected into the Committee for a second term. He currently serves as its Chairperson, a position he was elected into by his colleagues in the Committee last year May, when he became the youngest, and the first Chairperson of the Committee from Africa in almost 15 years.

Jaap de Visser visiting scholar at EURAC, Italy
Author: Jacob
Published: Jun 27, 2016

Prof Jaap de Visser, Director of the Dullah Omar Institute, joins the European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC) as a visiting scholar from 26June to 19 July. EURAC is an independent research centre in Bozen/Bolzano inSouth Tyrol, Italy. It houses various institutes on public management, minority rights, federalism but also alpine environment, biomedicite, renewable energy etc

De Visser and Steytler criticise new criteria for metros
Author: Jacob
Published: Jun 22, 2016

The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs intends to introduce the Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill, 2016 in the National Assembly. Before introducing the bill, the ministry invited members of the public to submit written comments on this Amendment Bill, and Jaap de Visser and Nico Steytler, both professors at the Dullah Omar Institute submitted their comments.

BURSARIES: LLM/MPHIL in Multilevel Government - 2017
Author: Karel
Published: Jun 15, 2016

The national government, provinces and municipalities play key roles in development and deepening of democracy. However, they face serious challenges: intergovernmental conflicts, maladministration and corruption. A key event will be the local government elections of August 2016, indicating the importance of metropolitan governments as well as the sphere of local government as a whole. This unique, full-time programme deals with the law, policy and practice of multi-level government in South Africa. It combines class room teaching with a practical internship at an institution multilevel government (including municipalities, province, Parliament).

ESR Review Vol 17 No. 1 2016 now available
Author: Jacob
Published: Jun 07, 2016

This is the first issue of the ESR Review in 2016. It includes three feature articles. The first, by Yuri Ramkissoon, reflects on the lessons from the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on the importance of realising economic and social rights in alleviating poverty and ensuring transformation. The article highlights some of the positive and negative obligations placed on the state by the Bill of Rights and then turns to the lessons learned by the SAHRC over 20 years of data collection on economic and social cultural rights.

Jaap de Visser unpacks new planning law at Housing Roundtable
Author: Jacob
Published: May 31, 2016

The national Department of Human Settlements is preparing a new White Paper on Human Settlements. The new White Paper will lead to new legislation and the repeal of the Housing Act of 1997. Together with the South African Local Government Association, the Department is hosting a series of roundtables to debate the new policy. On 31 May, Jaap de Visser delivered a presentation to the Roundtable on Planning, Design and Development of Integrated Human Settlements.

ANC, DA and EFF forced to govern together?
Author: Jacob
Published: May 17, 2016

The director of the Dullah Omar Institute Prof Jaap de Visser, published an article on the Conversation titled: South Africa’s politicians will have to adjust to many more coalitions, looking at the upcoming local government elections. In this article he argues that it is likely that there will be more 'hung councils', i.e. councils without an outright majority. In these municipalities, coalitions will have to be formed.

South African Constitution as an export model
Author: Jacob
Published: May 17, 2016

Yesterday, Prof Nico Steytler, the SARChI Chair in Multilevel Government Law and Policy at Dullah Omar Institute hosted colloquium focusing on the South African constitution as an export model. This was followed by a book launch of the Kenya-South Africa Dialogue on Devolution edited by Nico Steytler and Yash Pal Ghai published by Juta.

DOI sparks a conversation about constitutionalism in India and SA
Author: Jacob
Published: May 12, 2016

Yesterday, the Dullah Omar Institute and the Consul General of India in Cape Town hosted an event in remembrance Dr Ambedkar, the founding father of the Indian Constitution, and recognising the latter's impact on the South African constitution. The theme of this event was: Celebrating Constitutionalism in India and South Africa. The event was opened by the Prof Tyrone Pretorious, the Rector and Vice Chancellor of UWC.

Dr Mandlate contributes to a portuguese book on human rights in Africa
Author: Jacob
Published: May 06, 2016

The Dullah Omar Institute’s Dr Aquinaldo Mandlate’s and other experts from Angola and Norway jointly edited a book titled Direitos Humanos num Relance (Human Rights In A Nutshell), which was launched in Luanda (Angola) in April 2016. The book was published by SILABO and it is Portuguese version of the Human Rights in a Nutshell publication by Associate Prof Njal Høstmælingen, Director of the International Law and Policy Institute in Norway.