General

What most South Africans don’t know, but can probably guess

The book by R.W. Johnson that I recently referred to, namely, How Long Will South Africa Survive? – The Looming Crisis (Jonathan Ball, 2015), is giving a lot of people nightmares, I’ll bet. Not only because of the unsustainable cost of the inflated public service, but for a lot of reasons, all set out in…

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Mr. CEO! Can the ANC still control the streets?

Some months ago a fairly high ranking government official, who shall not be named, told me “the ANC is the only party that can control the streets”. They were making the case for why the EFF and the DA were side shows and only the ANC could capture the hearts and minds of the masses….

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#FeesMustFall – Technology innovation income can fund university students

The National Development Plan (NDP) identifies education and innovation as fundamental contributors to South Africa’s development by way of addressing poverty and inequality challenges in society. The NDP goes a step further, in recognising that universities produce new knowledge and find new ways in which to apply existing knowledge. There are very bold (but achievable)…

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Student Protests: A lecturer’s perspective on resentments

Viroshan Naicker, Rhodes University This morning I stood toe to toe and eye to eye with a student who wanted to enter a lecture that was in progress. Unwilling to compromise the col- league who was teaching his class, I stopped the student and asked to look at his student card. I asked it in…

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A Student Bank to fund free education

#FeeesMustFall is a continuation of the campaign waged by historically black universities. The objective of this campaign is to problematise the current tertiary education funding model. The current funding model places an undue burden on poor, working class and middle income household students. The NSFAS loan model has become a debt sentence for economically poor…

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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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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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#FeesMustFall is unravelling SA’s founding pact

Post-1994 South Africa is founded on the principle of progressive access to privilege. This principle implies that those in the suburbs will continue to live there while those in shacks will be progressively admitted into the ranks of those with houses and amenities. It also implies that those that earn decent salaries will continue to…

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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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