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.
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.
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.
Our attitudes towards immigrants say more about ourselves and our national character than we probably realise. Rapidly increasing human migration is a reality of the modern global economy. Countries that figure out how to utilise the phenomenon to their advantage will be the economies of the future.
Pop culture personalities and their associated memes are generally pretty banal and fleeting, but the latest Russell Brand polemic deserves a mention, if not for its ludicrousness, then Brand’s accidental position as the obtuse canary in the coal mine of modern politics.
Recently, in a rambling 4,700 word essay for the New Statesman, the British stand-up comic and actor conjured up his own notion of what is wrong with the world and launched a fervent plea for a Spiritual Revolution. Marc gives his take on la revolución de Russell.
The earth is heating up, polar bears are falling through the pack ice and Cape Town may soon be under water. On the other hand, energy generation is critical to a country’s development and the creation of employment. In this article we try to understand the issues at stake, with special reference to the burgeoning wind farm industry in South Africa.