Ian Dewar

Bring back RDP

Possibly the most significant thing about our new National Development Plan (NDP) is that the overview begins with a quotation from the White Paper on Reconstruction & Development. Back in 1994 this white paper gave us our very first national development plan which was supposed to be implemented through the Reconstruction & Development Programme or…

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The rainbow’s back

Mark August 14 2012 as a significant day in South African history because at a most remarkable meeting held in Botrivier on that day, the institutional process of Theewaterskloof (TWK) local government truly engaged, for the first time ever, with the Botrivier community process of democratic participation in the practical matters of local government. After…

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An anatomy of the recent small town riots

When I posted “Is it time for a South African Spring?” on May 3, I never thought that three weeks later the people of my own little town of Botrivier would explode into a furious, day-long demonstration against the Theewaterskloof (TWK) local government. By 5am on May 28 picketers had closed-off the town and tyres…

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May the e-force be with us all

The first time I really discovered the sheer, raw power of instant electronic communication over the internet was a kamikaze affair. A friend was being treated very unfairly, I thought, by an organisation we both had dealings with. So I decided that enough was enough; wrote a heavy-duty email about what I thought of the…

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Is hierarchical democracy an oxymoron?

I sometimes wonder if the constitutional notion of “participative democracy” is not just an impossible, idealistic dream. We are eighteen years down the road since our 1994 elections and the only hard evidence I have of my participation in our new democracy has been making my mark on a few ballot papers. The countless thousands…

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Why we always sow the same old reap

I think most readers will be familiar with that unbearable screech which sometimes blasts out of a concert’s or meeting’s sound system. Well, that screech is caused by the feedback into the sound system of some of the amplified sound already produced by the system. Because the sound wave of the feedback is in phase…

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Is it time for a South African Spring?

Let’s face it, our world is in a total mess right now. Social strife, political skullduggery and infighting, environmental degradation, and, for most, severe economic hardship, are pretty much the common denominators across every nation which makes up the global community. What makes this mess so particularly vexing to contemplate in South Africa is that…

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