The most backward, reprehensible cultures are those where the abuse of animals, the pollution of nature, the exploitation of children, the repression of women, and intolerance of religious, cultural and political diversity are allowed to flourish. The world does not need reams of essays and articles on the subject; it is a very simple equation. What is not so simple is when an individual, a society, a community or even a country projects an image that may seem outwardly democratic and civilized but rely on obfuscation, ignorance and outright lies to promote a hidden agenda.
A recent comparison of the New York Times with South African media behemoth, Naspers, by Michael Moritz, the chairman of Sequoia Capital, deserves comment. Not only for the cynical and superficial nature of his argument, but also for what it exposes about the general low quality of local journalism.
In the run-up to South Africa’s 2014 election we analyse the social media success of SA political parties and their leaders, using infographics to illustrate who have grown their Twitter and Facebook support base over the past eight months. Does social media success necessarily translate into more votes at the ballot box?
South Africa’s Democratic Alliance has diluted its liberal democratic principles to such an extent that it has become impossible for true democrats to support them. My family have been staunch PFP, then DP and now DA supporters for three generations. In South Africa’s 2014 election I will however not be voting for a party I believe has lost both credibility and gravitas.
The documentary, Cultivating Unemployment, uses the case study of Weenen, an agricultural community in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands, to highlight the severe structural challenges facing rural communities and agricultural workers across South Africa. It provides a very necessary insight into an important part of the South African landscape that is often overlooked in policy decisions.
We arrived in the small town of Springbok at eight pm after an arse numbing 800 km drive from our departure point in Hermanus on the southwestern coast of the Cape Province, via the often picturesque and occasionally not so picturesque towns of Worcester, Wolseley, Gouda, Porterville, Clanwilliam, Klawer, Vanrhynsdorp, Bitterfontein, Garies and Kammieskroon.
My dad and I had made the brave decision to endure each other’s company for eight to ten weeks, travelling, meandering and getting lost in four Southern African countries: Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Our main goals were to tolerate each other’s driving ability, cooking skills and sense of direction. Secondary goals would be to visit some of the most pristine wilderness areas in Africa, meet the locals and have a few adventures.
British colonialism, Apartheid policies and post-apartheid politics have all played a role in curbing and regressing the rights of a large section of the South African population. Unfortunately for 17 million rural South Africans there are plans afoot to disenfranchise them further via the introduction of the Traditional Courts Bill.