News/Politics

The river runs dry: Gender equality in South Africa

In 1789 France’s Ancien Regime, its monarchy and traditions, were swept away by the tide of the French Revolution — only for these laws and customs to reappear some years later. Struck by this, Alexis de Tocqueville remarked that it was as if a river had plunged underground and resurfaced a distance away, the river…

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The tripartite alliance was not designed to govern

Alliances are usually structured by different organisations that are motivated by a common purpose to achieve a shared objective. For such an arrangement to be sustainable, it must also be mutually re-enforcing in order to serve their different interests. It was therefore logical for the labour movement to collaborate with the ANC for the purpose…

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SA Post Office – It’s time to pull the plug

How long do you keep a family member on life support? Especially one that is utterly useless? We are speaking here of Auntie Sapo, or the South African Post Office, although the question applies equally to her infirm, twilight zone siblings, Telkom and South African Airways. Despite a hardwired organisational tendency towards profligacy, state entities…

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Can we please talk about the sexism on Matt Taylor’s shirt?

So there’s this scientist, right? And he and his team do something amazing. They land a satellite on a comet. How cool is that?! Possibly the coolest thing since Felix Baumgartner decided that skydiving is too mainstream. But that shirt. Eish, that shirt. The scientist, Matt Taylor, wore a shirt plastered with drawings of semi-naked…

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Geldof ends Ebola

LONDON, United Kingdom The world burst into spontaneous applause today after Bob Geldof announced that Band Aid’s song for Africa — Do They Know It’s Christmas — had cured the Ebola virus. Band Aid is the super-pop-cum-aid group that stopped famine in Ethiopia with song in the early eighties. Band Aid’s original, star-studded recording was…

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Gauteng education department ‘kacks bark’

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa Gauteng Education released an angry worded statement, lashing out at critics who pointed fingers at the provincial department for poor spelling in a “Mathematical Literacy P1 Memorandum”. This memorandum was an answer sheet handed out to teachers by the Ekurhuleni North District for a grade 11 standardised maths literacy exam, which contained…

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Order, order: A parliamentary mess

The events that occurred in Parliament last week have generated a significant amount of debate in South Africa. And for good reason. Police entered the Chamber in 1966 when an apartheid-era prime minister, Hendrik Verwoerd, was assassinated on the floor of the House by a messenger in the Old Assembly. No one died last week….

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Ray-Ban, Sea Point, you didn’t make nice, man

By Charlotte Johnson I work in public art. I take public art personally. I also believe in its relevance and importance in shaping our cities. And so, I cannot muffle the offence that Perceived Freedom has caused me. And many others, for a number of different reasons. Firstly, public art costs money. A fair amount…

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ANC ends period of parliamentary pleasantness

CAPE TOWN, South Africa The African National Congress (ANC) today announced that the ruling party had ended its period of congeniality in SA’s parliamentary caucus. “We rolled out the red carpet to welcome the EFF and their ugly onesies to Parliament, but after they made the parliamentary caucus raucous, there will be no more Mr…

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South Africa’s three words everybody loves to hate

As someone who, in the grand old liberal tradition (I’m not sure if there is anything grand or old in the liberal tradition, but, if I had to choose a tradition, that’s probably the one I’d chose in spite of it being utterly impractical and unfashionable) generally considers the rights of the individual as more…

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