Tag Archives: South Africa

Trump’s global gag rule puts safe abortion in jeopardy

In his first week as President of the United States of America, Donald Trump has demonstrated a callous disregard for women’s rights by reinstating and extending the so-called global gag rule, a policy which will prevent all organisations receiving US foreign aid for health from including abortion referrals or information within their programmes. Not only…

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Are South Africans really all capitalists at heart?

The South African news cycle often is awash with nationalist rhetoric from the emerging and vocal opposition, raging against the African National Congress. These quasi-socialists hold out an image of an economically liberated Southern Africa, a picture of Mzansi at peace on the land – their land. The capitalists too have a vision for South…

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Where is the wealth Malema wants to redistribute?

In a conversation about South Africa’s socio-economic malaise with a thoughtful sociologist from abroad, he asked the burning question that is shaping South African politics: “where is the wealth?” We talk often in South Africa about wealth redistribution, black economic empowerment and socio-economic rights. Our constitution at the outset sketches a socially just society as…

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Thank you, Mr Trump!

Dear Donald Trump, Thank you! In the days following the election I have seen numerous articles highlighting the follies of your choices, the irresponsibility of your comments, the virulence of your campaigning and the divisiveness of your words. In spite of all this, I would like to take a moment and say thank you. Thank…

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Has the time for ‘talks about talks’ come in SA?

The student protests of the last year are reminiscent of the 1976 student uprisings. Those protests were the precursor to a political change in South Africa less than a decade later. When young, educated “born free” South Africans express anger and impatience it’s time to pay attention. They have shown they want action. They want…

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A promising PhD-student’s take on the so-called ‘Zupta’- phenomenon

What follows here is a piece by one of my and Prof. Pieter Duvenage’s graduate students, Casper Lötter, who is a PhD-candidate in Social Philosophy at the University of the Free State – it first appeared in the Weekend Post on 5 November: ‘In a recent and valuable contribution, Raymond Suttner asks, “What is the…

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The assassination of Shaka the unifier is a lesson for the ANC

South Africans celebrate the enigmatic historical figure of Shaka Zulu, the military revolutionary who rose from illegitimacy to be a unifying monarch who used alliances and the occasional judicial assassination to build a Zulu powerhouse on South Africa’s east coast in the 1800s. Ironically, while Shaka’s use of military power, diplomacy and patronage succeeded at…

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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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#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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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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