South Africa’s mainstream media’s narrow obsession with the Zuma and Gupta families may be taking attention away from a much broader issue – the question of how the country’s marginalised masses perceive the meting out of socio-economic justice since the end of political apartheid.
New in Reprobate:
South African blues-rock outfit The Lyzyrd Kyngs released their second full-length album, A Few Grains of Sand, at the end of 2014. An event that has been somewhat under-reported in the mainstream media, which is a crying shame, because it is a damn fine collection of songs, showcasing the collective talents of some of South Africa’s most enduring blues-rock musicians.
The Inaugural Stephen Ellis Memorial Lecture was recently delivered by Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State. In it he makes some very valid comments about the current wave of student protests at South African universities and the role that white academic and cultural intransigence, an apathetic government and a new generation of black intolerance have played in its emergence.
The venality and gross incompetence of the ANC government have provided a convenient smokescreen for unelected lobbyists and vested interest groups to inveigle themselves into the South African political process at the expense of transparency and democracy. One such organisation is the Free Market Foundation, a neo-liberal lobby group that styles itself as a non-profit Public Benefit Organisation.
The World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index for 2015 ranked South Africa a fairly average 48th out of 141 countries. For a country blessed with such rich natural and cultural resources as South Africa, the varied factors holding back the country’s travel and tourism potential are cause for introspection and decisive action.