News/Politics

Whiteness – it must be possible to transcend black and white divisions (Part 2)

In many ways, this is a time of awakening. I should say “rude awakening”, because the awakening I am speaking of holds many unpleasant surprises. With “awakening”, I mean the sensation of seeing something for what it is for the first time. Waking up from false preconceived notions. A flash of recognition after which nothing…

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Didiza of Tshwane: The face that launched a riot

#TshwaneUnrest. That’s the hashtag that South African twitter chose to bookmark the biggest, most sustained public violence in the 22 years since the advent of democracy. Unrest? It seems that there’s nothing like a well-worn euphemism to make one feel snug and safe in suburbia, while in Pretoria’s townships rioters loot and burn. Two dozen…

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Tshwane violence was predicted, now how to fix it

In 2013 we wrote that by 2016 there would be “pockets of political violence”, accompanied by “economic gangsterism … looting and vandalism of private property” in South Africa. We argued that “foreign direct investment will stall”, inflation will rise sharply, the “EFF thrive” and that xenophobia, racism and tribalism would surface. Sound familiar? We arrived…

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Balance of power contests are driving violent community protests

As a society we must all resist and reject the temptation to accept that the violent protests and political killings that seem to occur all the time during the local election years is the new normal. It should not be! The time has come to take responsibility, show leadership and engage through all our stakeholder…

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Brexit: Should ‘ordinary people’ be taking a decision as big as this?

By Abigail McDougall Between last night and this morning an “I’m in for Britain” poster popped up in the window of my upper-middle-class neighbours. This display of support for Remain is rather gutsy for Kenilworth, Warwickshire, where Leave posters are in many windows and I’ve had Leave propaganda raining through my mailbox for weeks. It…

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Black economic empowerment is not black economic empowerment

By Michael Nassen Smith The BEE drum has been beaten many times before on both the right and the left on South Africa’s political spectrum. A recent piece on PoliticsWeb penned by John Kane-Berman gave what has become a standard liberal right critique of BEE. I think Berman is right to bemoan the influence of…

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It’s a simple choice: Are we going to make South Africa great?

Last week I wrote about racism in our public discourse and I was accused of merely describing the problem and negating the role of politics in fixing our economy. Well, here is a stab at a solution: – Every South African corporation with a national footprint should employ one intern aged 20-29 for every 10…

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The investigation into the ‘dangerous’ Mr Trollip

Economic desperation is never far below the surface in a country where unemployment, depending on how it is defined, is nudging remorselessly towards 40%. Like hunger in a predator, desperation defines the lives of the estimated 9 million looking for work. It causes teachers to kill rivals in competition for jobs being illegally auctioned off by…

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Je suis Orlando, then je suis KwaThema

If indeed we are one with the victims of the Orlando shooting, then surely we ought to be one with the victims of various violations and victimisation in our own communities. Or not? Since Sunday I have tried to get a sense of what this attack was about. Was it about a terrorist act, or…

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We are rebuilding an economic apartheid instead of dismantling it

In the mid-1980s South Africa’s prime overdraft rate went to 25%, inflation rocketed to 20.9% and the apartheid government abolished the financial rand exchange rate system in 1983 as international banks refused to renew credit lines for South Africa. The world was punishing South Africa for being a pariah, a scum state, violating the fundamental…

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