Fazila Farouk

Fazila Farouk

SACSIS is the brainchild of Fazila Farouk. She qualified with a M.Sc. in development planning from the University of Natal in 1996 and has worked in civil society ever since. Fazila has also completed a Ph.D-level course in social theory at Wits University's School of Public and Development Management, which she passed with distinction.

Fazila's experience includes research, policy advocacy and new media. She has written extensively about civil society and development in South Africa.

What Kind of Society Do You Want to Live In?

Picture credit: Platinum belt mineworkers courtesy GovernmentZa/flickr Fazila Farouk - Inequality is hard to avoid here in the most unequal country in the world, yet South Africa’s chattering classes have for a very long time done exactly that. Admittedly there are many titillating distractions, from our polygamous president engulfed in corruption scandals to the vulgar display of wealth by our black economic empowerment beneficiaries, there is much to keep the chins of the more established sections of South African society wagging in gloomy disapproval. However, as...

South Africa's 20 Years of Democracy: Cautioning against the Narrative of Achievement

Picture credit: jikatu/flickr Fazila Farouk - Birthdays and anniversaries are treated as milestones for reflection by many people, so it’s no surprise that Freedom Day, 27 April 2014, South Africa’s looming 20th anniversary as a democracy has unleashed a barrage of commentary aimed at reflecting on the country’s development. Debates are heightened by the fact that the momentous anniversary coincides with the country’s forthcoming 2014 general elections. It’s the 5th time that South Africans will go to the...

Elysium, Excess, Exclusivity, Exclusion

Picture credit: Jodie Foster as Jessica Delacourt in Elysium Screenshot/You Tube Fazila Farouk - In the film Elysium, Jodie Foster’s character confidently strides into the fabulous living area of a house overlooking a superbly manicured lawn wearing an Armani suit. Foster plays Jessica Delacourt, Elysium’s Secretary of Defence. The audience immediately understands that hers is a world of wealth, privilege, excess and exclusivity. All the signature cues marking the sophistication of the elite classes are referenced in this scene - champagne, strawberries, Foster’s...

Obama's Trip to South Africa and Chomsky on American Power

Picture credit: Noam Chomsky moments before delivering a keynote address at the Deutsche Welle Fazila Farouk - United States (US) President, Barack Obama’s trip to South Africa is a contentious issue that has animated media reporting and provided the necessary ammunition to fire up a debate that pits left against right. On the one hand, we have the South African Communist Party, Cosatu and some of its affiliates, as well as student and Muslim organisations demanding answers from the US president for a foreign policy agenda that keeps the world trapped in a state of paranoid fear, while on the...

How Income Inequality Hurts South Africa's Children

Picture credit: Children from Lukhanyo Primary School, Zwelihle Township, Hermanus courtesy Godot13/Wikimedia Commons. Fazila Farouk - There’s been a great deal of hand wringing in South Africa in the aftermath of the Marikana massacre. With the explosion of the underbelly of our society onto the international arena, South Africans have been left with little choice but to confront the demons of nearly 20 years of a failed democracy. From the fact that no woman feels safe walking alone on South African streets, to the fact that millions of people continue to live without the most basic of dignities, ours is a...

Drumbeat for Fracking Drowns out Reason and Rationality

Picture credit: Artist Fazila Farouk - Highlighting the need for a more skilled workforce, Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, recently encouraged youngsters to choose science and technology as a career path at a prize-giving event linked to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope - the world’s largest radio telescope that will be hosted in the Karoo. Pandor said, "We don't want to rely on extracting raw materials from mines and exporting them to other countries any longer. Many leading economies in...