Even though millions of the poorest South Africans are dependent on social grants, it is indisputable that the income and living standards of most citizens have improved over the past 19 years.
The Times Editorial: The appointment of Ray Zondo as a Constitutional Court judge was widely expected. According to judiciary insiders and observers, there was little doubt that Zondo would ascend to the highest court in the land.
The Times Editorial: The scenes from Marikana mine in Rustenburg yesterday were horrifyingly familiar for all the wrong reasons. They seemed to be located in a past South Africa where stand-offs between police and civilians were ordinary sights. But this was no apartheid moment.
You've got to hand it to Lindiwe Zulu and her team of mediators on Zimbabwe. President Jacob Zuma's top foreign affairs adviser has been publicly vilified by Zanu-PF heavyweights because of her determination to ensure that the opposing parties in the fragile power-sharing government stick to the terms of the global political agreement struck four years ago.
The ruling by the Constitutional Court on Wednesday that unions are liable for damage caused by their striking members will reshape the way South Africans toyi-toyi to air their grievances.
President Jacob Zuma has stunned South Africans with his choice of Mangwashi Phiyega as the new national police commissioner.
Volumes have been written about the crisis in education in the relatively impoverished Eastern Cape and, yesterday, The Times exposed the appalling conditions at a government school in the province that was described by one of its teachers as a "pigsty".
The first rugby test of the year is always something special. It's a match that raises questions about whether good provincial form can be transferred to the international level, and how narrow provincial loyalties can be set aside for the national good.
THE utterances of Ike Motloung, lawyer for suspended police intelligence boss Richard Mdluli, would be farcical if they were not so scary.
The Sunday Times: THE bodies of at least 16 illegal miners have been recovered and countless other miners are missing or awaiting rescue at the end of a week which brought to the fore the awful dangers and inhumanity associated with the growing business of illegal mining.
The Times: It would have been so easy to imagine that the most disturbing, significant event in South Africa - for the past week or so - has been the controversy around the imagined genitals of President Jacob Zuma.
The Times Editorial: When the public broadcaster decides to turn itself into a "his master's voice" broadcaster in order to protect the image of the government, the truth gets compromised.
The Times Editorial: Trevor Manuel, the minister in the presidency, yesterday chose a path that many of his colleagues in government and the ANC have avoided.
The Times Editorial: The pictures of rebel soldiers in the Central African Republic driving captured South African military vehicles rammed the message deep into our open wounds.
The Times Editorial: The DA's plan to table a resolution, at an emergency sitting of parliament, to force President Jacob Zuma to terminate the deployment of SANDF troops in the war-torn Central African Republic, is inopportune.
The Times Editorial: President Jacob Zuma should, without any further waste of time, speak candidly to the nation and clear up the many unanswered questions about the involvement - and deaths - of our troops in the Central African Republic.
The Times Editorial: The killing of 13 of our soldiers on foreign soil at the weekend was a massive blow to the morale of the SA National Defence Force and the nation.
The Times Editorial: The intention by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to give the public vetting powers over who is fit to be a police officer is baffling, to say the least.
The Times Editorial: The death of South African soldiers in the Central African Republic, where rebels seized control of the capital, Bangui, yesterday, is a reminder of the massive work Africans still need to do to bring about stability on the continent.
The Times Editorial: Human Rights Day is in danger of becoming irrelevant because many of us seemingly cannot connect with our painful past.
The Times Editorial: Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is on a mission to reduce the harm caused by alcohol abuse . He also wants to further tighten the noose on smokers.
The Times Editorial: We have been on this road before and we should not be surprised by the headlines this morning telling us of yet another collapse of the SABC board.
The Times Editorial: An estimated two million Zimbabweans voted on a new constitution on Saturday as a precursor to democratic elections in the troubled country later this year.
The Times Editorial: Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called on citizens to work with the police to help root out criminals in their ranks.
The Times Editorial: Auditor-general Terence Nombembe has revealed that taxpayers are still being milked of millions. His audit of the state exposes the number of public servants who continue to do business with the government.
The Times Editorial: Though we appreciate the focus the government has given to the pressing problem of acid mine drainage, calls to prosecute mine bosses for the pollution of the aquifers under Johannesburg and elsewhere are likely to add stress to an industry already stretched to the limit.
The SABC, an important national asset, is being stripped, brick by brick, of its value and standing. In recent years its top executives, including its board, have behaved in a way that defies logic.
The Times Editorial: It will take us years and painful investigation to finally trace the whereabouts of those who went missing during the dark days of apartheid.
The Times Editorial: President Jacob Zuma yesterday gave an honest and blunt assessment of what is wrong with our nation. His address in parliament came a day after his secretary-general in the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, told mourners attending the memorial service of slain Mido Macia, who died in police holding cells after he was dragged while handcuffed to the back of a police vehicle, that we are an angry nation.
The Times Editorial: The pronouncement by the Zimbabwean government this week that President Robert Mugabe would not invite US and EU observers to validate next week's constitutional referendum, and the general election later this year, is alarming.
The Times Editorial: In a case that highlights increasing tensions between schools and the state, the Constitutional Court was yesterday asked to decide whether the Free State education department head was correct to override two school governing bodies that had excluded pregnant pupils from school.
The Times Editorial: Police commissioner Riah Phiyega must bring about order and stability in the police service before the wheels come off.
The Times Editorial: AS Kenyans go to the polls this morning, Africa and the world will cross their fingers and hope that the outcome will not again lead to mayhem and death.
The Times Editorial: President Jacob Zuma must intervene personally and, if need be, order national police commissioner Riah Phiyega to deal with misconduct and downright human rights abuse by our police.
The Times Editorial: The latest Budget was the first to be built entirely around the much-vaunted, long-awaited National Development Plan.
The Times Editorial: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has placed her head on the block and she should not cry foul when we hold her to her words.
The Times Editorial: Jeff Radebe is saying all the right things about fighting corruption.
The Times Editorial: The government's decision to name and shame its corrupt officials is a first step in the right direction and in convincing South Africans that something is at last being done.
The Times Editorial: Auditor-general Terence Nombembe warned earlier this month that financial controls in government departments and municipalities were deteriorating and that more than half of them were unable to provide ''credible and quality information'' in their financial reports.
The Times Editorial: Billions of rands are being spent by governments across the world to fight the use of cocaine and other dangerous substances. Other countries have even taken steps to impose the death penalty on anyone found guilty of being in possession of or dealing in illicit drugs.
The Times Editorial: Activist and human rights campaigner Mamphela Ramphele has finally revealed how she intends to rekindle hope for a better South Africa. In a speech at the women's jail on Constitution Hill yesterday, Ramphele said she would establish a political "platform" to change the lives of South Africans, who she said were being failed by the current political system.
The Times Editorial: The war against rape and abuse of women will not be won if we continue to bury our heads in the sand and hope divine intervention will help us.
The Times Editorial: Whatever happened early yesterday morning at Oscar Pistorius' apartment in the Silverlakes complex, it will be up to a judge to decide if there was any criminal culpability. Until then, innocence needs to be presumed.
The Times Editorial: When President Jacob Zuma made his State of the Nation speech two years ago, he liberally quoted former president Nelson Mandela. Exhorting his audience to draw inspiration from Mandela's 1994 inauguration speech, Zuma reminded us of the difficulty of walking the road to freedom.
The Times Editorial: Police in Limpopo have declared war on rape - and yesterday they said they would force all rape suspects to undergo HIV testing.
The Times Editorial: The appallingly cruel rape, torture and murder of 17-year-old Anene Booysen in Bredasdorp has exposed the ugly underbelly of South African life and the bitter reality that women and children are frequently preyed upon by heartless thugs.
The Times Editorial: Whether Dr Mamphela Ramphele enters the world of politics this week by launching her own party or not, the life of ordinary South Africans will continue as is.
The Times Editorial: The "shouting match" between the mining industry and the government appears to be far from over. Yesterday, incoming Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani spoke at the mining indaba and offered the government some advice.
The Times Editorial: Public funding of political parties took centre stage yesterday. The ANC resolved at its national conference in Mangaung in December that more public money be spent on subsidising political parties "to promote democracy".
The Times Editorial: On March 27 1985, 42 pupils were killed when their bus plunged into the Westdene Dam in Johannesburg. The cause of the crash was never quite explained, but the memory of the young lives lost so tragically has remained.
The Times Editorial: After more than three months of violent protests in Western Cape a deal has been announced intended to appease angry farmworkers.
The Times Editorial: Patrice Motsepe has joined one of the world's most unique clubs - incredibly wealthy people who give away their money to uplift the poor.
The Times Editorial: The sorry saga of government corruption has become frightening. Somehow, there seems to be no threshold to government graft. And increasingly it seems that maladministration and corruption must now reach epic levels before they have any shock value.
The Times Editorial: Embattled platinum miner Lonmin's announcement that it intends negotiating a new deal with its workers is good news for the mining sector and the entire country.
The Times Editorial: The R206-million Nkandla debacle will not go away. It will continue to haunt President Jacob Zuma and his party until the real culprits behind this shameless looting are exposed and dealt with.
The Times Editorial: The Mangaung honeymoon is over and it's back to business. The ANC's major alliance partner, labour federation Cosatu, yesterday said it would intensify its campaign against e-tolls and would take its fight against the proposed electricity tariff increases by Eskom onto the streets.
The Times Editorial: If Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi truly believes that his report into the upgrading of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home will put to rest the allegations that state funds were abused, he must think again.
The Times Editorial: It is shocking and downright criminal. How can our government pay about R33-billion to consultants because it has failed to fill key posts in its departments?
The Times Editorial: Sasolburg has warned that there will be war, that residents will show the government that they will not be fobbed off with empty promises.
The Times Editorial: First National Bank has been bullied by the ANC to withdraw parts of its You Can Help advertising campaign featuring schoolchildren appealing to their countrymen to work together for a betterSouth Africa.
The Times Editorial; The ruling by the Pretoria High Court last week that allows consensual sex between children aged between 12 and 16 has, predictably, caused a furore.
The Times Editorial: Another week, another service-delivery protest, so the story about South Africa goes. The continuing protest in Zamdela township in Sasolburg, Free State, has again exposed the thin line we walk as South Africans.
The Times Editorial; The Africa Cup of Nations picture is not as bleak as it might seem. Unconvincing performances by Bafana, inefficiency in ticket sales and poor marketing have put doubts in our minds about the tournament. Tomorrow night, however, we can turn it around.
The Times Editorial: The sensible economic choices made by the ANC at its national elective conference in Mangaung last month helped lift some of the gloom afflicting South Africa watchers.
The Times Editorial: Meaningful discussions about the future of thousands of miners are in jeopardy. Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu overreacted yesterday to what, by all accounts, seemed to be a fair attempt by Anglo Platinum to start engaging with trade unions about the future of mine workers threatened by retrenchment.
We are in trouble. The coming days, weeks and months will be difficult for South Africa. If we fail to rise above our differences and find solutions, the number of people without work will double and the effects will be felt by everyone.
The Times Editorial: The interminable spouting of statements of good intent as a substitute for action must end now if South Africa and the ANC are to avoid a bloody second transition in which the masses are likely to take to the streets in violent protest.
The Times Editorial: Plans to lower the blood alcohol limit to zero are the latest in a series of moves by the government that some think are turning South Africa into a nanny state.
The Times Editorial: A shocking report on the inhumane conditions child prisoners are forced to endure should have every single parent - and politician - demanding immediate intervention.
The Times Editorial: The ANC turned 101 yesterday, and the road it has travelled is filled with both tears and joy. As we continue to fight and raise our voices to shape our democracy, those in leadership should never forget why John Langalibalele Dube, Sol Plaatje and others met at the Waaihoek Wesleyan Church in Bloemfontein in 1912 and founded the South African Native National Congress.
The Times Editorial: President Jacob Zuma has committed more troops to help keep the peace in yet another unstable African country.
The Times Editorial: The signs are there for everyone to see, and those who care about this country continue to warn us about the dangers that lie ahead, but it seems that many government officials remain in deep slumber.
The Times Editorial: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga describes the outcome of this year's annual national assessments at schools as her "proud privilege". But though the language competency of pupils in grades 1 to 6, and in Grade 9, has improved, their mathematics results cannot be described as anything but dismal.
The Times Editorial: South Africa rarely does particularly well these days when its performance in areas such as governance , productivity, competitiveness and willingness to tackle corruption is measured against that of other countries.
The Times Editorial: Rivonia triallist Ahmed Kathrada said on news of the death of South Africa's former chief justice Arthur Chaskalson that South Africa would be poorer without him because his brilliance and wisdom were still greatly needed.
The Times Editorial: One of the best ways to gauge how the world has changed from one generation to another is to examine our attitudes to sex.
The Times Editorial: Revelations that a "cartel" controls our tolled roads have left a bitter taste in the mouths of many people. Decisions about the expensive Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project have been clouded in secrecy, in the same way as the multibillion-rand arms deal.
The Times Editorial: There is positive talk coming from those ANC members whose concern is not about the interests of individual leaders but about the survival of the organisation.
The Times Editorial: The stability of a swathe of Africa is threatened by the advance of a rebel army in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Times Editorial: 'Get out there and engage . as a protection, as a protection, get out of the nyala and engage. The task force will come next."
THE tendency not to pay for government services, even when we have the means to do so, is becoming the norm in this country.
The Times Editorial: The continuing demolition of houses in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, shows how the government is quick to act against the weak but unable to deal with corruption within its own ranks.
The Times Editorial: If circumstances were different, Jeremy Gauntlett would be the envy of those legal colleagues who have aspirations to become a judge.
The Times Editorial: A visibly upset President Jacob Zuma told MPs yesterday that he felt ''aggrieved'' by media reports that the government had paid more than R200-million to upgrade his palatial Nkandla estate in KwaZulu-Natal.
THE turmoil on Western Cape farms that started in De Doorns has spread to several other towns. Yesterday, workers took to venting their anger at low wages a disturbing step further - resulting in one death and several injuries.
The Times Editorial; Mamphela Ramphele yesterday did what she does best - hold a mirror up to our nation. Speaking at the University of Cape Town, which she used to lead, Ramphele had harsh criticism for those who run the country.
The Times Editorial: The contribution of the SA Communist Party to the liberation of this country is undeniable. In fact, the history of the ruling party, the ANC, is intertwined with that of the SACP.
The Times Editorial: Something will have to give if South Africa is to get back on the road to recovery and prosperity. But the government alone cannot bring about the necessary changes unless we are all prepared to make sacrifices.
The Times Editorial: To an outsider, there might seem to be a lot wrong with US politics. There are the huge financial and media resources required to fight an effective presidential campaign, effectively consigning smaller parties to the political wilderness. And there's the electoral college system, which can render the popular vote almost irrelevant in some states.
The Times Editorial: Call the tabling of a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma yesterday in parliament a stunt, but frustrations about the direction this country has taken have reached boiling point.
The Times Editorial: Julius Malema has, if nothing else, chutzpah.
The Times Editorial: South Africans might wish to question why the Democratic Alliance embarked on a march to the headquarters of Cosatu in Johannesburg - they can do so for as much and as long as they can.
The Times Editorial: The legal drama involving Cape Judge President John Hlophe is likely to be dragged out even longer - this time quite unnecessarily - by the organisation that should have dealt with it effectively three years ago.
South Africa's two most popular football clubs and one of the country's leading cellphone companies were congratulating one another yesterday after renewing a sponsorship agreement that puts Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in the league of Manchester United or City.
The Times Editorial: For the past few days, South Africans have been preoccupied with the very vexing question of a portrait of President Jacob Zuma.
The Times Editorial: The furore over the Brett Murray portrait of President Jacob Zuma has taken a dangerous turn. Yesterday, the Shembe church, which is supposed to be a guiding light to society, called for Murray to be stoned to death.
Please be assured that all processes relating to the 10% shareholding of rural cooperatives in Ndalo Luxury Ventures (NLV), as well as the 10% equity in respect of NLV staff, are perfectly legitimate, credible and dignified.
We are in the build-up to the imminent declaration of undeclared war on Syria by the US, and perhaps some of its sycophant lapdogs in the guise of the UK and France.
I do not believe the government should have promised Umkhonto weSizwe veterans jobs ("MK vets storm mayor's office", August 27).
Riah Phiyega's appointment as national police commissioner is another of President Jacob Zuma's bungles and a slap in the face for real, seasoned police personnel ("Give me a chance", June 15).
By not treating road traffic injury as a children's rights issue we are allowing the slaughter of young people on a global scale.
In some ways I am disappointed to see the demise of former national police commissioner Bheki Cele ("Furious Cele vows to settle political scores", June 14).
It's about time the unions took responsibility for their actions during strikes ("The toyi-toyi will never be the same", June 14).
Mariah Carey in her song Hero sings: "When you feel like hope is gone, look inside you and be strong and you'll finally see the truth, that a hero lies in you."
Kiekie Mboweni's letter on Blade Nzimande's re-election as general secretary of the SACP ("Blade vocal about power but wears many crowns", July 18) refers.
Over the past few weeks the spotlight has been on the film industry and what can be done to have it compete on a global level ("It's time for Afriwood", July 17).
Will the police win the gang war ("Phiyega's hectic month", yesterday)?
It is sad that Western Cape premier Helen Zille's request for the army to assist the police has been blown out of proportion.
No president in any country has garnered global respect in the way Nelson Mandela has.
South Africa has a major problem with contaminated water and waterways.
Defections by soldiers once loyal to Syria's Bashar al-Assad are a tangible sign that the Syrian revolt is gearing up to become a full-scale conflict ("Putin, Annan meet over deepening Syrian crisis", yesterday).
It would be appropriate for the ANC to celebrate Madiba's birthday by serving the needs of people.
Until such time as the South African Football Association realises the depth of the crisis we are facing in the international arena, we will remain the biggest underachievers on the continent.
Craig Ray should know better ("Fourie's a jolly good fellow for Stormers", yesterday).
Why do refugees choose South Africa (Cost of refugee camps will only fuel the anger", yesterday)?
It's interesting that the so-called activists in Carolina were prepared to accept our lab results - and use them in their court papers - when they showed that the water was contaminated ("Activists don't trust the minister on safety of water", July 11).
There is an important link between the excellent analysis by Brendan Boyle ("Courts a vital counterweight") and letter writer Teboho Metsing's question "what if fascists decide to fight the government?", both published yesterday.