Articles on South Africa

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A young man wearing an African National Congress shirt joins in student protests in South Africa. Party politics and student politics shouldn’t mix. Reuters/Sydney Seshibedi

Why student leaders should be elected on merit, not party affiliation

It's time to change how student representatives are elected at South Africa's universities. The existing process gives far too much space and power to political parties.
Xenophobia is a huge problem in South Africa. Could better university teaching about Africa make a difference? Reuters

Teaching students about Africa may be one way to stem xenophobia

South African university students are as guilty of xenophobia as anyone else. Three approaches through teaching and research could make a huge difference.
Some South African universities said they felt sufficiently threatened to obtain interdicts against protesting students. Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Explainer: the role of court interdicts in managing protests

Universities were widely criticised for turning to the courts during a series of student protests in South Africa. So why did they do it, and did the interdict process work?
A solar water heating unit on the roof of a home in Kuyasa outside Cape Town. South Africa has a long way to go to get people off the grid and onto solar heating. Epa/Nic Bothma

Advances in getting solar onto the grid, and into the home

Africa is blessed with an abundance of sunshine.Given the heavy demand for energy, alternatives, such as solar, could provide solutions and help stimulate economic growth.
Understanding the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis has won a South African molecular biologist international recognition. Shutterstock

Is South Africa’s research prowess sustainable?

Funding for South African higher education is inadequate considering past inequalities. Even more alarming is the fact that plans for research development and innovation in science remain elusive.
21 years into democracy, are South Africa’s university students showing other citizens how best to hold the state accountable? EPA/Ihsaan Haffejee

University students are becoming a new kind of democratic citizen

University students in South Africa have shown the potential of mass mobilisation to influence policy in advancing justice for their constitutional democratic rights.
Phishing is a growing problem across Africa. South Africa has the highest number of victims. shutterstock

What South Africa is doing to make a dent in cyber crime

Cyber security has been identified as a global challenge, with Africa facing renewed threats through increasing internet use across many platforms.
Supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters protesting outside the Johannesburg stock exchange. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa is in danger of becoming a radicalised society – again

Since the 1940s, it's been common for political moderates to move to the fore in South Africa – then, intermittently, to the background. They are replaced by radicals or exclusivist nationalists.
The Chinese have helped build more than 300 dams in Africa, like this one on the Congo River. Reuters

China’s economic slowdown threatens African progress

China's economy has continued to slow despite efforts by its leaders to give it a boost, which is very bad news for an increasingly dependent Africa.
It’s one thing for a country’s academics to produce great research – but what’s the point if ordinary citizens can’t access it? Shutterstock

Why it’s getting harder to access free, quality academic research

South Africans' access to important knowledge and research is incredibly limited. In this time of Open Access, why is this the case – and will it ever change?

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