December 2008

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Limits of the Law

Picture: healthsafetypolicy.co.uk Richard Pithouse - When the post-apartheid deal went down, the demands for social justice that survived the negotiations were written into the rights enshrined in our new legal order. At the same time, the popular struggles that had forced key issues onto the national agenda were demobilised. It was often assumed that because the rights that had been won were backed by the law, the rule of law over the messiness of social life would ensure that these rights would be prescriptions rather than aspirations. But...

Have You Heard From Johannesburg?

A six part documentary series recording important elements and actors in the apartheid struggle in South Africa and abroad from 1948 to 1990. Story One in the series,  "The Road to Resistance," posted here, traces the struggle from the time that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted to the end of the two decades that followed. Story Two: The Long Walk of Exile Story Three: Don't Play With Apartheid Story Four: Apartheid and the Club of the West Story...

The HIV Funding Challenge

Prof. Hoosen Coovadia commends the scale of HIV funding by 80-odd international funding organisations that have provided support for the pandemic, but argues that we need a much stronger effort. He laments the fact that funding initiatives force South Africans (and others) to make difficult choices because of the way funding streams are defined.

OBE Education in South Africa - is the experiment going to work?

Picture: Wikimedia Commons Glenn Ashton - This year is the first that school students – or learners as they are now known - are to matriculate under the new Outcomes Based Educational system. OBE was adopted as one of the first major policy innovations under the newly democratic government in South Africa, under the ideological guidance of the first minister of education, Sibusiso Bengu. The demand to meaningfully change the educational system in South Africa was a priority intervention. The old system, irrevocably...

Book Review: Choice, Not Fate - The Life and Times of Trevor Manuel

Picture: Fazila Farouk Colette Francis Ashton - Book: Choice, Not Fate: The Life and Times of Trevor Manuel Author: Pippa Green Publisher: Penguin Books Reviewer: Colette Francis Ashton When I sat down to read the biography of Trevor Manuel I knew that, for me, it would stand or fall on how well it answered three nagging questions I had about the Finance Minister. Firstly, what exactly was Manuel’s role in the arms deal? Is he really a ‘neoliberal’? And lastly, what was the personal motivation behind his resignation...

Third Wave Feminism

Author of "The Beauty Myth", Naomi Wolf talks about a new generation of feminists - the third wave. Less dogmatic than earlier feminists, this new wave is more pluralistic about sexuality and personal choices, but also more alert to issues of race and class. Wolf also reflects on differences between western and muslim feminists.