Mandela Rhodes Scholars

An industrial revolution for whom?

By Alex Lenferna As a person who is going to live quite a bit longer than President Zuma, (or so I hope, although perhaps six wives supported by the state is the key to longevity) the State of the Nation address (SONA) was worrying. Not only did Zuma spark a rather ironic note by swearing…

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What is the purpose of our education?

By Mario Meyer Tony Blair once said: “Ask me my three main priorities for government, and I tell you: education, education and education.” It is well documented that the South African education system at large, and its primary and secondary public schooling system in particular, is in a state of chronic crises. A large majority…

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Language and inequalities in education

By Athambile Masola As a language teacher, I have been following the furore about African languages being axed from schools with great interest. I have been reading and trying not to be cynical about every new article announcing that yet another school will no longer offer isiZulu or isiXhosa in the foundation phase. There have…

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COP17: Nothing to celebrate

By Alex Lenferna As COP17 finished on Sunday morning 5am, 36 hours into overtime, many celebrated the development of what is being referred to as the Durban Package. The South African lead negotiator, Alf Wills, among others, sees the Durban Package as a comprehensive deal that has taken into account the necessary compromise and has…

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But gay is a Western invention

By Matthew Beetar Wow, go Hillary Clinton! As a friend on Facebook said, “It’s about time that the world’s most powerful leaders started acting like leaders”. In her recent speech made before the UN, the US Secretary of State argues, in short, that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) rights are human rights, concluding that…

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So much writing, is anyone reading?

By Suntosh Pillay It started innocently enough. But then again, I should have known better. My parents always said don’t go into strange places with strange people. But I couldn’t resist. Before I knew it, I was knee-deep in the online jungle called Amazon. Special offers were popping up in every corner. Books that I’ve…

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COP17: A critical look at SA’s role

By Alex Lenferna South Africa hosts the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) — in Durban, starting today. But what about South Africa’s own response to climate change, and how coherent and meaningful is our response, really? Firstly, let’s look at South Africa’s emissions reduction…

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Waiting for 2pm on Gothic Tuesday

By Suntosh Pillay My one concern about Black Tuesday was that if the 400 MPs deciding our future decided not to pass the secrecy bill, then a celebratory White Wednesday might follow and, quite frankly, dressing up in white is never as flattering as black. In faded black jeans, looking like a trainee Gothic, I…

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Blue Tuesday

By Zuki Mqolomba I woke up to a wardrobe dilemma this morning. Given the choice of a litany of unattractive black attire I’d long abandoned given the season, I was rattled by the political choice imposed on me on this ordinary Tuesday-turned-extraordinary. By accident, omission or actual deliberation, my choice of “shirt, skirt, shoes and…

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Teaching to transgress

By Athambile Masola The public education system is failing in South Africa. This is nothing new. As the year comes to an end we will soon be bombarded with the matric results that will confirm the consequences of an unequal education system. We will all lament, shake our heads in despair, point fingers at the…

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