General

Black rage: Does anger justify the means?

“If you do not approve of our methods and tactics of protest, then you are neither with us nor are you for our cause.” This slogan sets a pre-condition for solidarity with a struggle. It requires that one accepts, in good faith, the methods used to advance a struggle. This pre-condition exposes a weaponised logic…

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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 ANC must undergo creative destruction to re-invent itself and survive

In business when sales and profits over time progressively decline it means, among other key things, that the erosion of the brand has set in and usually the task of rebuilding it can be very challenging and disruptive. But it also means that the problems that caused the decline must first be fixed before the…

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The unbelievable cost of South Africa’s bloated public sector

South Africa would be significantly more economically viable if it did not have to carry a civil service sector that far exceeds the country’s needs in numerical terms. This is one of the many things one learns from R.W. Johnson’s candid, if sometimes completely disconcerting recent book, How Long Will South Africa Survive? The Looming…

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Sophie’s Choice

Fathers’ Day is fast looming and for this first-time grandfather the excitement is overwhelming. Surely grandfathers deserve grand presents? How will little Sophie know what to get me? Will it be a loathsome pair of socks or a new laptop computer? If I’m disappointed, how should I react to avoid a repeat next year? Do…

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A Buzz, a Whiz, a Cloud of Dust..

“A buzz, a whiz, a cloud of dust, A wild blood-curdling yell, A ghastly object floating by, Then silence – and a smell!” (Poem on the early days of motoring – source unknown) It’s sad how, as cars have become more sophisticated, motoring has become less adventurous. Modern cars are quiet, smooth, fast, comfortable and,…

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Is Eskom trying to lock us in? If so, we need to break free

A stunning new study recently came out from the Centre for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). It demonstrated that by far the lowest cost option for providing energy to South Africa is to pursue a renewable energy future. This bright new reality, created by the rapid progress in clean energy technologies, provides “sun-drenched and wind-rich” South…

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“Hair Rules”

by Victoria J. Collis-Buthelezi On Tuesday last I attended a meeting at which a well-meaning colleague seemingly complimented me on my hair. It was in a two-day old flat-twistout and as such looked somewhat more like a stretched ‘fro. “I like your hair,” he began. Not bad, I thought, then came, “ … especially in…

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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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Does racism exist in a world without races?

If one does not believe that race exists, then one will not believe that racism exists. Since racism is real, we should not reject the existence of race. This simple argument appears to stand behind the rather vicious repudiation of “colour-blindness”, “not seeing race”, and other variations of the cardinal sins of our racialised social…

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