General

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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Howard College law library: More than just a site of learning

James Rycroft The devastation of the Howard College law library has kicked me in the stomach. Not just because I was one of the many law students who used the space as so much more than a library, but also because of why and how that space came into being. My dad was the Dean…

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Will “Blockadia” help, or “Is Earth F**ked”?

One of the most revealing threads running through Canadian investigative journalist and tireless anti-capitalism activist, Naomi Klein’s rivetting book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014), concerns what she terms the “new climate warriors”, or in one word, “Blockadia”. This unlikely-sounding word names a movement which has arisen in the shape…

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Barbarism should not triumph over civilisation

Smanga Sethene Prophet Muhammad (saw), had this to say when he was asked about the importance of acquisition of knowledge by men and women who had the honour of his blessed company and time: “Acquire knowledge. It enables its possessor to distinguish right from wrong; it lightens the way to heaven; it is our friend…

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