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On the State of Democracy in South Africa

Steven Friedman 25/06/15

South African democracy spans two very different worlds. In one, people complain loudly but enjoy full democratic rights – in the other, most remain unheard and battle for the right to speak. In both, life is difficult for those who do not (...)

On Not Reducing Racism to Apartheid

Richard Pithouse 28/01/15

We would be more effective at dealing with the endemic racism in our society if we didn’t relentlessly speak in a manner that reduces racism to apartheid and ‘apartheid tendencies’. The reason for this is not because historical trauma should be (...)

The New Denialism

Richard Pithouse 30/10/14

In 2005, early in her in her first term as Minister of Housing, Lindiwe Sisulu announced that the state had resolved to ‘eradicate slums’ by 2014. This was a time when the technocratic ideal had more credibility than it does now and officials and (...)

On Strikes and Violence in South Africa

Mohamed Motala 04/09/14

In recent years, strikes in South Africa have become turbulent. Today the Farlam Commission is hearing evidence of the 2012 strike on the platinum belt that was characterised by extreme use of violence on all sides. Mining companies, Lonmin, (...)

South Africa : The Urban Land Question

Richard Pithouse 07/04/14

Urban land is acutely contested in contemporary South Africa. There are regular land occupations, some taking the form of quiet encroachment and some taking the form of overtly political acts. At the same time most municipalities have armed (...)

A Week in August - Factions in Cosatu, Economic Fear Mongering and the State (...)

Leonard Gentle 16/09/13

Lenin once said, « There are decades when nothing happens and then there are weeks when decades happen. » British Labour Party Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, was to similarly explore the vicissitudes of political time when he remarked, « a week (...)

South Africa : Transforming the Tragedies of Local Government Failure

Glenn Ashton 14/06/13

Perhaps the greatest single failure of governance in the new democratic dispensation is situated at the local government level. While some improvement has occurred, the lives of far too many citizens, especially those in small towns and rural (...)

South Africa : The Case for Strategic Coalition Building in Civil (...)

Dale T. McKinley 15/03/13

There can be no doubt that since 1994 (non-corporate) progressive civil society organisations (CSOs) in South Africa, despite serious organisational and resource challenges alongside an often hostile government and corporate sector, have (...)

South Africa : Cities Need to Plan with the Poor, Not for the Poor

Felicity Kitchin 08/02/13

“People who live in the shacks have other people planning for their lives ; whatever they get is not planned with them ; there are people planning for them.” – Resident of Siyanda, eThekwini Recent riots in Zamdela in the Free State have brought (...)

Rio+20 : Furthering Sustainable Development or Greenwashing the Global Economy (...)

Michelle Pressend 26/03/12

In June this year, the United Nations Conference of Environment and Development (UNCED) popularly known, as the Rio Earth Summit will commemorate 20 years. It was originally held in Brazil in 1992. You may recall that in 2002, South Africa (...)

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