Why is the state not helping farmers and miners?

When things go pear-shaped and certain critical sectors of our economy are likely to implode, the critical intervention of wise leadership is required. The role of government, even in countries like the US, which subscribe to laissez-faire policies, is to intervene when the market fails and when national interest is at risk. Thus in 2008…

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Dear young African, it’s time to wake up

No, this is not about #FeesMustFall or #RhodesMustFall. It’s about stepping up to the leadership plate when the doors to lead are flung open for you to walk through. Are you well-equipped to take up the leadership mantle and lead when the old-guard fall by the wayside? Where is your attention? What are you focused…

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The dangerous accountability deficit in Malawi’s health sector

By Annabel Raw Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and is heavily dependent on aid. About 40% of its annual budget comes from international donors. However, following the revelation of a massive corruption scandal dubbed “cashgate”, donors have been slashing their disbursements. In October, the IMF also suspended loans to Malawi…

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The Revolution, Minuted

    The revolution will be bureaucratised Sanitised, civilised Minuted in committee With truth sitting pretty Waiting for approval by sub-committee By the executive with every consecutive directive, objective Formalised, circumscribed You might wonder why We even tried We even cried For positive change For positive days… — (colony)

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Do not act surprised about corruption in Kenya, it’s a thing

By Franklyn Odhiambo In the past few months revelations have surfaced of high-end corruption in Kenya’s ministries and county governments, including Kisumu County, the devolution ministry, and most recently internal security. Some members of parliament are so angry at the revelations that they want to punish someone for the exposé. If we consider Kenya’s recent…

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Out of control: South Africa’s obsession with authority

The last month has been historically and politically significant for South Africa. The student protests have – and continue to – present a great opportunity for citizens to hold their government accountable. Although this social movement represents the potential of our politics to mature and become meaningful, this potential will be squandered if we do…

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On whiteness and white guilt

There is a refrain that is often heard around the braai or the water cooler, and it goes like this: “Why should I have to apologise for apartheid? I wasn’t a part of it/was only a child/wasn’t yet born.” There is another one that I’ve been seeing more often lately, on Facebook and in thinkpieces,…

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Derrida and the present world (dis-)order

Anyone who believes that the present world-dispensation is one of “order”, merely has to scan all the many sources of information to be disabused of such an illusion. In doing so, however, they would probably not realise that, as Derrida (1994; see below) enables one to see, these very news sources — mainly television, the…

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Something stirs behind the dull eyes and zombie shuffle

Just occasionally one glimpses, behind the dull eyes and zombie-like shuffle of President Jacob Zuma’s disengaged administration, the values that sustained the African National Congress in the struggle years. It’s a briefly cheering reminder that all is not yet lost. This week Kgalema Motlanthe, in an uncommonly frank Business Day interview, skewered the movement to…

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Are violent protests cleansing, like Fanon said?

By Liezille Jacobs and Julian Jacobs Frantz Fanon, often referred to as the psychiatrist who prescribed violence, would turn in his grave at the condemnation of the student protests because he believed overcoming oppression could be realised through a violent uprising of the masses. Fanon said the slave thinks of overthrowing his master while being…

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