Polls and elections are considered vital democratic tools – but there’s more to true democracy.
There are several different ways to approach democracy. Polls, elections and referenda all feature, but they're not the only way to deepen democracy.
South Africa’s economy will be hit hard if universities can’t finish the year.
Economic models suggest that South Africa's GDP would fall, inequality would deepen and unemployment would rise if university graduates don't enter the labour market in 2017.
Many South Africans fear and mistrust the police.
Clashes between student protesters and armed security (whether public or private) compel South Africans to consider the role of use of force in the context of protests.
Nelson Mandela, accompanied by his wife Winnie, walks out of the Victor Verster prison on February 11, 1990.
The foundation founded by Nelson Mandela in 1999 has done a major revision - it has written off most of his reign as comprising "grand symbolic gestures".
The costs of student protests are far higher than imagined.
There is a very real risk that South Africa's major research projects will stumble and the whole research machine will be shut down by ongoing student protests.
A student tries to stem her bleeding during clashes at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Protest movements become radicalised by two factors: escalating policing and competitive escalation between political adversaries and other protesting groups.
People need spaces in which they can speak honestly about their pain and anger.
Universities are so busy trying to make ends meet that there's no time to listen to their communities' stories. It's crucial to develop safe spaces where tough conversations can happen.
“Free” education is not fair or sustainable.
Higher education is a resource intensive enterprise. It cannot effectively function without a massive injection of resources in a sustained and escalated manner.
Older generation freedom fighters like Nelson Mandela are losing currency among some young people in South Africa.
Student activists are losing faith in the legacies of anti-apartheid heroes like Nelson Mandela. Perhaps all South Africans should do the same. It may just be what the country needs for its future.
Ongoing student protests are unlikely to have been a direct cause of universities’ slide down global rankings tables.
It's unlikely that student protests are directly affecting South African universities' rankings. Instead, decades of government underfunding in higher education may be at least partly to blame.
People risk being physically harmed during violent protests. But there is also an emotional element at play.
University students are fed up that their calls for free education are being ignored.
South Africa's higher education minister has dealt with fee increments for 2017 but sidestepped students' fundamental issue: an ongoing call to make higher education free for all.
Protesting students have had enough and their anger is burning hot.
South Africa's universities have been told to set their own fee increases for 2017. That's good news for institutions, but it hasn't been well-received by many students.
Podcasts are emerging as an arguably easy-to-access, affordable mode of creating new spaces for discussion and debate.
The podcast has emerged as a promising medium for facilitating ongoing debate about issues that need more time than mainstream, profit-oriented media or the changing tides of hashtags might allow.
The decolonisation of South Africa’s university curriculum seems to have fallen off the agenda, overtaken by the push for free higher education.
The decolonisation debate in South Africa's universities raises critical issues about the relationship between power, knowledge and learning.
A year on from South Africa’s #feesmustfall protests, funding remains a hot issue.
Academia is being asked to do less for more, and universities are at financial breaking point. This has implications for all South Africans.
Students have been emboldened and won’t give up their demand for free education.
South African students’ demands for free university education are not going away. Nor are the country's economic realities.
A traditional rainmaker in Kenya. How can indigenous knowledge become part of university curricula?
Department For International Development/International Development Research Centre/Thomas Omondi/Flickr
Decolonisation of the curriculum doesn't have to mean the destruction of Western knowledge, but it's decentring. Such knowledge should become one way of knowing rather than the only way.
There is a growing authoritarian impulse in South Africa, including among some student activists.
Sections of South Africa's student movements regard transformation as a complete failure. Responding to this perceived failure, some have adopted an anti-democratic stance.
South Africa needs to build a mental infrastructure that will allow people to individually and collectively engage in a bold, courageous and trutfhul dialogue.