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BLACK IS BLACK AND WHITE IS WHITE... OR IS IT IN THE MIDDLE CLASS?

Two neighbours in the same middle-class suburb: one family black, the other white. A recent article by Leon Schreiber carried by Politicsweb suggests that even though these families would have a great deal in common in terms of lifestyle, interests and needs: “the odds are that racialised thinking would convince both families that they actually have very little in common. A black family might assume that the whites have more in common with rich white industrialists living on an exclusive estate, while the white family might assume that the blacks have more in common with impoverished black people living in a township on the outskirts of town”.

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Whites have folded their arms

On the one hand…. In an interview with Al Jazeera 15 June 2013, Reverend Frank Chikane, Director-General of the Presidency under President Mbeki and author of The Things That Could Not Be Said, commented that: “I thought blacks and whites would work together but since de Klerk left, I have the feeling that the whites in the country have folded their arms and are waiting for this black government to change the country”. 

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We the People

Writing in Time Magazine of 13 May 2013, Joe Klein spoke of the ability of certain groups to thwart the will of the overwhelming majority. This was in connection with the US Senate failing to pass a bill on background checks for gun purchasers despite the mass killings in schools and public spaces.

This comment could just as easily have applied to the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) prioritising their own interests before those of the people of South Africa.

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Iron Leader

Justice Malala, in his Monday Morning Matters column in The Times (15 April 2013), draws analogies between the strikes that were crippling Britain in the late 70s with those having the same impact in South Africa today. Where Britain had a strong, consistent and decisive leader in Margaret Thatcher who took on the unions and systematically broke their hold on Britain, we have Jacob Zuma and the ANC who have the trade unions as alliance partners in government.

futurefact finds that 80% of South Africans agree (50% strongly) that they would “would like to see a really strong leader emerge who would re-establish order and discipline”.  If there is one place where strong leadership is required in South Africa it is in education.  South Africa’s ranks 143rd out of 144 countries for the quality of its maths and science education and 139th for its overall education system.  How is this possible when South Africa will spend 46.7-bn on education in 2013/14 tax year and when its percentage expenditure on education in terms of GDP (5.3%) ranks 46th out of 132 countries surveyed by nationmaster? 

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Journalism: Professionalism vs Sensationalism

Let him die in peace = I wish he was dead

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State is a powerful proponent for racial integration and has, by all accounts, defused racial tensions and created one of the more racially harmonious campuses in South Africa.

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