South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan presenting the medium term budget. The country’s economy remains in the doldrums.
South Africa's 2016 medium term budget was awaited with bated breath amid rising political tensions, increasingly violent student protests and the threat of a credit downgrade.
There has been a great deal of research, planning and talking to come up with solutions to South Africa's higher education funding crisis. Some of these plans must now be put into action.
University authorities in South Africa have agreed to most fees protesters’ demands. Yet, the protesters keep moving the goalposts. Do they want more than fees to fall?
The student movement in South Africa prides itself on being “leaderless”.
Student protesters have demonstrated good leadership in some spheres but come up short in other areas. This suggests that universities ought to focus more on how they teach leadership.
Peacekeepers can offer a channel of communication between police and protesters.
Peacekeeping is not easy. But for South Africa's universities to begin working towards solutions, it is crucial that their communities give peace a chance.
Scenes like these may drive young people away from academic careers.
Many young academics and those who might be considering an academic career will be horrified by what's unfolding at South Africa's institution. Will bright minds be lost?
Critical dialogue could help South African universities get back on their feet.
When students are genuinely listened to and understood, and their proposed solutions to problems are taken seriously, real change can happen in university faculties.
When several South African universities merged, it was hoped this would improve access and equality. It had the opposite effect.
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.