Equality

Zuma-Concourt saga: Leadership succession (Episode III)

The major question facing South Africa in 1994 was: How to prevent us from killing each other long enough to have the seeds of mutual co-existence take root. The ANC’s response to that leadership question was Nelson Mandela and his feel good rainbow-isms. The major question thereafter was how we build enduring local institutions. Also,…

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Global inequality is much worse than we thought

It’s familiar news by now. According to Oxfam, the richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world’s population combined. Global inequality is worse than at any time since the 19th century. For most people, this is all they know about global inequality. But Oxfam’s wealth figures don’t quite tell the whole…

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The unbearable whiteness of being a middle-aged Afrikaans male

When I was recently asked to perform a few of my songs at the private birthday party of an old fan from the Voëlvry era, I agreed. “I don’t like performing at private parties, but at least these people won’t be a bunch of potbellied Afrikaans right-wingers,” I said to my wife. “This guy says…

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There’s no dignity in education without proper sanitation

By Chandni Gopal and Zandile Ngubeni Human Rights month serves a dual purpose; we are reminded of the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa but are also afforded the opportunity to reflect on progress made in the promotion and protection of our hard-earned human rights. With this year…

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How to avoid an economic war

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India said “Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” Nehru led a nation of hundreds of millions of poor Indians groaning under the postcolonial legacies that had shaped the subcontinent. Colonialism was not…

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‘Decolonisation’, the new ideology

Everywhere one looks today in South Africa you find a new imperative: “Decolonise!” In certain academic quarters it has evidently already attained the level of a new ideology, where academics are expected to “decolonise” the courses they teach (and presumably the articles they submit for publication as well). What astonishes me is that academics do…

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Men will never stop hurting us

As a child, I thought that grownups weren’t afraid of anything. They killed spiders. They didn’t believe in monsters and ghosts. They weren’t scared of dogs or the dark or the deep end of the swimming pool. Of all the disappointing discoveries of adulthood, the realisation that grownups are in fact very frightened very often…

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How the west destroyed the global south’s best shot at development

When it comes to international affairs, western politicians love to celebrate their devotion to development. In her flagship speech on development as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton offered stories about US aid transforming the lives of poor people in Indonesia, Nicaragua and South Africa. France’s minister of foreign affairs recently hailed his country’s commitment to…

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Gender equality progress is mainly all surface

You’d be forgiven for thinking this International Women’s Day is different from the others. In recent years, we have seen some apparently radical changes in the way women are seen as well as an expansion of opportunities. This year, it will seem to some, we can use the day to remember recent triumphs of female…

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The art of hypocrisy: Appeal to re-constitute Shackville

By Shobane A wave of condemnations and outrage hit the media after University of Cape Town artworks were burnt on campus. Even those academics, who from the rooftops declared their support for the fees must fall movement were very quick to distance themselves from what they saw as a particularly “senseless” act. This violence, it…

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