General

Numsa: Is this the left’s moment?

The announcement that Numsa would form its own socialist party should come as no surprise. Numsa’s battles within Cosatu (most notably with its historical rival, the Jacob Zuma-aligned NUM) and the ruling alliance (particularly with the Zuma faction, ostensibly on questions of ideology) have served as a generous forewarning that this was coming. Further, in…

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Crime: There is something rotten in the state of South Africa

Driving to work this morning I heard the news about the fatal shooting of Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa. Saddening and extremely disturbing as it is, the irony of the matter is that it is even more saddening that the vast majority of people who fall senseless victims to the apparently never-ending…

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Is the public protector an ‘enforcer’ or a ‘recommender’?

The public protector has dominated the news yet again this year, and I’m sure this has been the year with the most coverage in the public protector’s history. One thing that has been outstanding is the debate around the powers of the office of the public protector. The public protector falls under chapter nine institutions,…

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Who’s afraid of the cybermob?

Nothing quite affords anonymity like the internet does. One may choose to be anonymous there, and by its very nature you already are: a minute part of an enormous data set, where our merged identities form a gigantic collective, infinitesimal flashes of electricity, among trillions of others, in a remote server farm far, far away….

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Transcendence: The clash of humanity and technology

Near the beginning of the 2014 thought-provoking science fiction film, Transcendence (directed by Wally Pfister2014), one of the main characters, Max Waters (Paul Bettany), walks into and through a deserted house into a little courtyard, bends down next to some sunflowers (the only healthy plants in the garden), thinking aloud to himself that “he” (his…

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Is it time to nationalise the Reserve Bank?

Every time the Monetary Policy Committee announces interest rate cuts, unions and some sectors of the population immediately jump up calling for the “nationalisation” of the Reserve Bank. One wonders if they do actually have a point. The recent appointment of Lesetja Kganyago as the Reserve Bank governor-designate has re-ignited the debate. During my studies…

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Old and unwanted

My home and I have a lot in common. We’re both old and unwanted. Although I will admit that my home is a lot more glamorous than me. And a lot older. Looking for a job and putting your house on the market at the same time can be very testing these days. Especially in…

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Joyce Vincent: The woman who lay dead in her flat for three years

It was the saddest story most people had ever heard of. In 2006, the skeletal remains of a London woman were found in a flat, where she had lived alone, and died three years earlier, unbeknownst to anyone. Due to the body’s advanced state of decomposition, the cause of death was unknown, as was the…

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Education: What’s the point of it all?

A few weeks ago, I read an article to my grade 11 students with the headline “Youth unemployment in South Africa – apartheid is alive and well”. My students are usually opinionated when it comes to certain issues, but not this time. They walked out of the classroom in silence. I noticed their quizzical looks…

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Why Africans cannot tell their own stories

African writing and publishing has been systematised to be an extension of Western or European thinking and imagination about the continent and its people. An African writer is not encouraged to come up with a new variation or interpretation of what happens in Africa. Over-simplistic as it may seem, I will tell you what kind…

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