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Articles on post-apartheid

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Young South Africans are angry with the failure of the country to deal with racism. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Getting to grips with why race is still a divisive issue in South Africa

The central thrust of Haffajee's book is compelling. It argues that black South Africans, especially the new generation of young, black ‘born frees' are obsessed with whiteness and white privilege.
Miners pray during the one-year anniversary commemoration of the killings of 34 striking miners by police outside Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Marikana massacre: how South African journalism failed the test

The reporting of the Marikana massacre was characterised by embedded journalism, sensationalism and polarisation of views. The media became a loudspeaker for powerful political and economic interests.
Producing brilliant graduates is one thing – developing and nurturing those who want to remain in academia is quite another. Jason Reed/Reuters

Universities must rethink how they retain and nurture young academics

Universities in South Africa have tried to "grow their own timber" in a bid to diversify staff bodies. These programs haven't been wildly successful. Why, and what can be done differently?
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.
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.
Supporters of the Congress of South African Trade Unions march in the streets of Johannesburg. Economic freedom has eluded the majority of South Africans. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

South Africa: why economic freedom is proving to be the ANC’s undoing

Economic transformation of unequal societies in a democratising context is difficult. This requires a creative mix of policy options underpinned by a commitment to social justice.
Students protest at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University demanding the right to be taught in English rather than Afrikaans, which they identify with apartheid. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Universities need to manage hate speech, not stifle freedom of expression

The university should be the bastion of the right to free expression in the promotion of democracy, and has a moral and ethical obligation to provide spaces for fierce debate and critical engagement.
A bust of Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid. Verwoerd believed that black people should know their place – and that included staying away from ‘white’ jobs. Juda Ngwenya/Reuters

History explains why black South Africans still mistrust vocational training

Vocational training is regarded as "low status" in South Africa. Much of the negativity around technical and vocational work seems to lie in the country's history.
A statue of colonialist Cecil John Rhodes is removed from the University of Cape Town after student protests. Could real transformation come through changing governance structures? Nic Bothma/EPA

How South African universities are governed is the biggest challenge

How can the higher education sector guard against proposed transformation measures being merely superficial quick fixes? At least part of the answer may lie in institutional governance.
Black students at University of Stellenbosch protest against the institutions’s language policy they say discriminates against them by favouring Afrikaans. Times Media/Adrian de Kock

Why Biko’s Black Consciousness philosophy resonates with youth today

Black youth are grappling with the question of the meaning of freedom in post-apartheid South Africa. They seek an antidote to their reality wherein blackness continues to be mocked and marginalised.

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