Tag Archives: poverty

No Christmas box for my fellow countrymen

I was out doing my irregular early morning jog when I was stopped by a lean and hungry-looking man. My street-wise eyes screened him up and down as he walked in my opposite direction. The distance between us closed and in no time we were face to face. What I picked up was the shabby…

13 Comments Continue Reading →

Education reform: Raising the floor or raising the ceiling?

“Wealthy parents choose [private schools] for their children, at least in part, as a risk-management strategy. If you look at the list of successful [private school] alumni, you’ll see some impressive names on it … but for a school that has been producing highly-privileged graduates for many years, it boasts very few world changers. Traditionally,…

4 Comments Continue Reading →

On being mis-recognised: Julian Hewitt and the angry black woman

People think I’m an angry black woman. People who know me well, know that this is a misrecognition of me. I’m a nice person. I hate foot-in-mouth interactions: that awkward moment when someone says something they shouldn’t have said, and someone else has to salvage the situation or we all walk away. I save face….

11 Comments Continue Reading →

Over the rainbow – voices from the margins of South Africa

Why poverty? In a country where only 8% of the total national income is shared by 50% of the population the problem of inequality persists 20 years into our new democracy. While a quarter of all South Africans live on $1.82 a day the top 20% (10 million people) enjoy 75% of the national income….

4 Comments Continue Reading →

The ‘single story’ about Africa’s education

The danger in writing about the African continent is that one can end up falling into the trap of perpetuating what Chimamanda Adichie refers to as the “single story”; that is, writing about one idea where Africa is a country; a deep, dark and poor country. A place out there the natives are starving and…

8 Comments Continue Reading →

Why teach in Africa?

Meet Esnart. She is a teacher in Malawi. There’s a bitter-sweet tinge to her reflection about her teaching experience thus far. She was inspired to be a teacher because she “had a teacher that was so good. She loved everyone in class. She wanted to see us succeed in our lessons”. But she also refers…

4 Comments Continue Reading →

How violence, protests shut the door on learning

I’ve been following the violent protests in township communities with half an ear. It’s been interesting watching what the media chooses to focus on when reporting these stories and shaping the discourse about whose stories matter. When I’ve seen the images of those out in the streets protesting I’ve been uncomfortable at how young the…

5 Comments Continue Reading →

Aid in reverse: How poor countries develop rich countries

The idea of international development aid lies at the heart of a tremendously successful PR campaign. The narrative we have been sold claims that aid has been effective at reducing global poverty. Here I will argue that there are three problems with this narrative. First, poverty is not disappearing, despite what we have been told…

20 Comments Continue Reading →

Inequality will derail our democracy

The magnitude of the problem of inequality in our country, compounded by the painful reality of unemployment and poverty, will hobble any future development prospects unless we seriously debate the efficacy and appropriateness of our policy responses in post-apartheid South Africa. Let me put the problem in context. It had always been clear in the…

15 Comments Continue Reading →

The death penalty is more anti-black than Malema realises

The recent utterances by EFF leader Julius Malema that should the EFF become the ruling party he will hold a referendum for people to decide whether they want the death penalty reinstated, are reckless. They indicate to me that he has no appreciation for the historical constructs of this country and has not bothered to…

16 Comments Continue Reading →