Tag Archives: South Africa

Eben Venter’s ‘Horrelpoot’, fiction and SA’s future

Anyone who has read Eben Venter’s gripping novel, Horrelpoot (Clubfoot; Tafelberg 2006), would know that it is no easy read despite being written eloquently and engagingly. What I mean is that it is a harrowing book to read. I have read the original Afrikaans version but apparently it is available in English too. Furthermore, anyone…

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Of clowns, covert racism and whitewashing black concerns

The furore over the cartoon depicting the ANC parliamentarians and their electorate as a bunch of inept clowns is indicative of how far we still have to go in terms of embedded and unconscious racism in South Africa. There is nothing wrong with critiquing government in satirical depictions, but there is something horribly wrong when…

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20 years on: A short guide to being white around black people

It’s been 20 years and my how times flies. So much has happened and in the midst of it all people have continued to try and exist within the paradigm of a “rainbow nation”. This effort has come off less like the Mrs Balls advert where everyone really loves chutney (and each other) and more…

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I am not voting against the ANC

On Monday I will cast my special vote in the 2014 national and provincial elections. This is the fourth South African election I am eligible to vote in, and this is the first time I will vote for the Democratic Alliance (DA). I was set on voting for the DA long before the Economist endorsed…

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Spoiling your vote is a rotten choice

While I can understand, even appreciate, the disillusionment of the main figures behind the “Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote No” campaign, I cannot agree with their method or the logic behind it. This campaign by a few former disillusioned ANC heavyweights encourage equally disillusioned South Africans to spoil their ballots on 7 May to punish the ANC….

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Leering glances: The silence on sexual harassment is untenable

Sexual harassment on the streets is a pervasive phenomenon that women from a range of racial and cultural backgrounds as well as social circumstances experience in daily life. Most men, even educated men from so-called respectable backgrounds belittle women’s experiences of sexual harassment. Internationally, this has led to a spate of new films and campaigns…

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‘There is something inhuman about stealing from the poor’

Theft is a debilitating thing, whether it is petty theft or “grand larceny”; whether it is theft during a burglary, as we recently experienced, or the kind of GRAND theft perpetrated by politicians who have access to public money, or corporations that do so via dubious legislation, which allows them to pay minimal corporate taxes…

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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….

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Parliament @20: Shrinking the accountability deficit

This year South Africans celebrate the 20-year anniversary of our democratic parliament. With national and provincial elections approaching, political parties are finalising the lists of candidates selected to represent South Africans. It is an opportune moment to reflect on the efficacy of public representation and how civil society can assist in enhancing it. Much has…

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Let’s talk about the protests. Where is the empathy and outrage?

“The country is burning”. “Burning frustration”. “Hot-headed in South Africa”. These are the headlines that abound about the many protests that are currently erupting around South Africa. On television we witness mobs of black people apparently running amok, building barricades and burning tyres. We hear of the disenfranchised masses dancing, picking up rocks and supposedly…

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