Equality

UCT Black academic caucus statement

21 October 2016 The UCT Black Academic Caucus believes that the current situation at our universities necessitates a national multi-stakeholder solution. The increasing securitisation and violence on our campuses has become untenable and cannot be resolved through negotiations between the executives and student groupings within individual institutions. The student movement that began at the University…

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Selfless leadership could fix South Africa

The #FeesMustFall movement is a dress rehearsal for the revolution South Africa will face unless we fix our socio-economic conundrum of inequality, poverty and unemployment. This will require leadership! It will require “bridge builders” who are not beholden to vested interests and can lead for the common good. It will require technical skill to empower…

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On black excellence: Charlotte Mannya Maxeke

I’ve been reading Zubeida Jaffer’s biography of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, Beauty of the Heart. I was very excited at the prospect of finally having a book available about a woman who is mostly known through the hospital that is named after her in Johannesburg. Beyond the hospital naming, I doubt she is a household name….

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Our fragile economy demands leadership with strategic foresight

Economic prosperity for any nation is not an outcome achieved on the basis of one policy focus and strategy. It is a result of a carefully chosen and managed set of development drivers and priorities in a complex system with a causal network of linkages that must work together to deliver the economic growth and…

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The 5 As: A checklist to step up for mental health

By Suntosh R Pillay It’s no secret that mental health has always been the Cinderella of the health system: locked up in a dark basement hoping never to be found. Or, when mental health does get a few good moments in the limelight, like Cinderella’s carriage it turns into a pumpkin at midnight and becomes…

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Violence will not do it

Almost three weeks ago, Americans commemorated the fifteenth anniversary of the event that has had a decisive impact on global politics ever since: 9/11. Three years later, in 2004, Judith Butler published a book entitled Precarious life: the powers of mourning and violence. I didn’t read this book at the time of its publication. The…

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Rape: When the personal becomes political

By Rebecca Helman Rape is both personal and political. It is a deeply personal violation committed by one person against another. But it is also a symptom of a social context in which inequality, disempowerment and violence continue to shape the daily experiences of millions. Within this context it becomes almost impossible to separate the…

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We can fund higher education without it being free

For some time now, I have been concerned with how tertiary education is funded in South Africa and called for the matter to be reviewed with urgency on numerous occasions as we were sitting on a ticking time bomb. It seems that bomb may have exploded.   Having said that, this isn’t a simple challenge…

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What ‘decolonisation’ means: E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India

With all the talk about “decolonising” university curricula (see http://thoughtleader.co.za/bertolivier/2016/03/23/decolonisation-the-new-ideology/), which has again cropped up among the demands of the protesting students, I thought it might be productive to remind students and academic staff alike of one of the most eloquent – in fact, together with Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, exemplary – critical literary…

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The things we do in the name of transformation

I came across the recent cover of Independent Education and I was troubled. It is a picture of a black boy donned in Scottish garb while participating in a parade. The blurb inside the magazine explaining the front cover reads: “About our cover: Grade 10 student Sanele Mboto is the current drum major of the St…

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