News/Politics

Could compulsory UKZN laptops be a game-changer?

On May 7 this year Renuka Vithal, University of KwaZulu-Natal’s deputy vice-chancellor of teaching and learning, sent out an internal email indicating that the university would be adopting Moodle as its on-line learning management system. All disciplines would be required to place first and second-year module material online. And first and second-year students would need…

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From small mutinies big coups doth grow

After 20 years of thwarted hopes and expectations, South Africans are adroit at juggling the private truth and public lie. The ability to reconcile these two without guilt or a giveaway smirk has become a necessary social skill to guard one’s career or business prospects. This is very much a characteristic of nations drifting towards…

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Stop invoking Mandela’s legacy to advocate respectability

Recently, I saw a Facebook post about an event where the keynote speech was titled “What would Mandela do?” The speech, unsurprisingly, criticised the recent student protests. For the love of intellectual discourse, can we please retire this phrase? Don’t misunderstand me. I have nothing but respect and admiration — and gratitude — for Nelson…

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#FeesMustFall: A movement of shares, likes, tweets and posts

In 2011 Chilean students began a protest movement to challenge the education system of their country. Known as the “Chilean Winter”, their dissatisfaction poured onto social media platforms. The students leveraged these sites to great effect to mobilise fellow academics, draw international support and express their own narratives which were ignored by the media. Fast-forward…

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Whiteness is like herpes

You know now that you have it but prefer not to talk about it. Every now and then it surfaces like a rash, provoking discomfort, not in you, but in others. You have lived with it for so long that for most of your life you didn’t even notice it. In fact, you were surprised…

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#WitsOnFire: Student factionalism must fall

By Phaphama Dulwana The past two weeks have been something to marvel at. I watched for the first time in my life young black people take a stand against institutions and systems that perpetuate the poverty we have regrettably become so immune to. Every single day filled me up with an overwhelming sense of emotion…

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ANC looking backward, looking forward

By Matthew Wate In early 2004 an enterprising businessman approached the ANC with a novel and interesting piece of gadgetry. Bactacles. These ingenious devices looked like normal sunglasses but actually had tiny cameras on the back and projected images onto the lenses, allowing wearers to see what is behind them at all times. The ANC…

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So #FeesHaveFallen but let’s not celebrate too quickly

By Marlyn Faure It’s all too easy to think now things can go back to normal. Of course, if by now you still don’t understand why students are protesting, please stop questioning the legitimacy of the struggle but rather the fibre of your conscience (or lack thereof). Over the last while there have been a…

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Forget ‘developing’ poor countries. It’s time to ‘de-develop’ rich countries

Heads of state recently gathered in New York to sign the UN’s new sustainable development goals (SDGs). The main objective is to eradicate poverty by 2030. Beyoncé, One Direction and Malala are on board. It’s set to be a monumental international celebration. Given all the fanfare, one might think the SDGs are about to offer…

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Fix the public education system to grow the economy

The essence of good strategic thinking and planning requires, for an organization, a critical capacity to anticipate events in the future that may have the capacity to derail its strategy and develop remedial measures to mitigate the threat. This is also true for a government. The crippling financial burden of university education for the poor,…

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