Archive for the ‘Infrastructure & Power’ Category

Editorial: Normalising Xenophobia

June 12, 2008

Editorial
Normalizing xenophobia
by Azad Essa

The barbaric violence, including the intimidation and killings that silenced the ho hum of the rainbow nation for the past three weeks has finally subsided.Ordinary South Africans, after witnessing the bloodshed sprayed all over their newspapers and television screens, appear to have returned to the daily drama of their own lives. Of course, the mass rioting might have stopped, but isolated incidents continue to reverberate sporadically across the country.

It is rather the South African government’s feeble approach to finding caring solutions to this and other crises that force one to question government commitment.

But even government inaction can’t hold out for so long.

You can bet your bottom Zim dollar that government will respond eventually. A xenophobia related conference will be arranged, a set of international rock stars will fly over for a Madiba-inspired concert, mass t-shirts and other such memorabilia will be sold. And if we really lucky, we might even get another public holiday.

Azad Essa is a journalist and researcher based at IOLS-Research

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/aae15038.aspx

Advertisements

Xenophobia: Reasons for the impeding crisis

June 12, 2008

Focus: Xenophobia in South Africa
Reasons for the impeding crisis

By Patrick Craven

The recent shocking spate of murderous attacks on foreign residents has rightly dominated both the media and the academic world. IOLS Research has already made an important contribution to the debate around the causes of this outbreak of violence.
What is becoming clear is that there is no consensus on the underlying reasons for the problem and the debate will doubtless continue. I would like to focus on one particular attempt to identify the reasons – an article on 30 May 2008 in Independent Newspapers by veteran journalist Allister Sparks. He puts the blame on the interaction of two failed government policies – one caused by the old ANC leadership and the other, as
he puts it, at least partially by the new.

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/pcc14978.aspx

NOCWAL

June 12, 2008

UKZN
NOCWAL: supporting postgraduate research
by Yajiv Haripersad and Sabeeha Maithir

Overview

University education is characterized by a reputation for developing critical thinkers. This is especially so in the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences. However the gap between developing an analytical mind on a learner level, guided by teachers or supervisors within the relevant higher education institutions and writing independently is one that remains under-developed. Postgraduate learners rarely express individual (or collective) research interest through independent initiative research papers or the like. Reason for this being, that there is no formalized space dedicated to the stimulation of postgraduate research through which postgraduate learners can express their interest in research.

Furthermore upon reaching a postgraduate level and thereafter exiting university, a learner is armed with the necessary rules and taught methodologies but without an avenue through which to channel this knowledge and interest in research. University education is often criticized for not providing for the practical training of the learner, a need that other tertiary institutions such as those aligned towards more vocational training and education provide for. There is thus an opportunity for the creation of a formal structure within public higher education institutions that provides for the experiential training needs of postgraduate learners.

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/YASM14979.aspx

The Plight of Tutors at UKZN: Whose the culprit?

June 12, 2008

UKZN
The plight of tutors at UKZN: who is the real culprit?
by Percy Ngonyama

As tutors engage in rigorous debate about the super exploitation of their cheap labour, they should be wary not to succumb to ‘divide and rule’?the boss’s very effective dirty strategy? blaming fellow victims. Getting up and standing up for their labour rights are long overdue for tutors at UKZN.

The prospect of withholding of labour power should be seriously looked into.
As our experience, past and present, will tell us, sometimes, this is the only language bureaucrats understand.


Percy Ngonyama is a MA student and a Tutor in the Department of Historical and
Internet Studies.

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/PNG14980.aspx

Crisis…What Crisis?

May 26, 2008

Focus on Xenophobia
Crisis…what crisis?
by David Bullard

Before I got axed from the Sunday Times I wrote a couple of columns commenting on President Mbeki’s rather dismissive attitude towards Zimbabwean immigrants. He once made a remark along the lines of ”they are here so get used to it”. I argued that we owed Zimbabweans fleeing from a despotic regime rather more than that. Unless they were absorbed into society, given identity documents and their talents utilized we were in for big trouble.

Governments don’t like to be told what to do by journalists and that’s partly why I am no longer writing for the Sunday Times I suspect and why I am unable to find employment with any other newspaper.

I take no delight in being proven right over these past two weeks. The mayhem in the informal settlements is reminiscent of the 1980’s with the difference that in the 1980’s people were fighting for their freedom. That still didn’t excuse the necklacings and the kangaroo courts set up to decide if somebody was guilty of being a ”traitor”. Today’s situation is altogether more frightening and irrational.

Or is it?

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/DB14676.aspx

 

Editorial: What Now?

May 26, 2008

Editorial
What now?
by Aisha Lorgat

Now we have all seen it, here and abroad, emblazoned like a shameful scarlet letter in media images and news feeds that are strikingly similar to the beginnings of the Rwandan genocide. Horrifying images of necklacing, the punishment meted out in township justice during apartheid that everyone, we certainly, assumed had no place in the new South Africa, return to haunt our collective consciousness again. The crime this time however, was not being an informant or askari, but that the man burning to appease the blood lust of the mob had committed the truly despicable crime of being born north of the Limpopo.

All of us in South Africa need to decide if we are indeed ‘African’ at all. The fractured schizophrenic identity games we play with ourselves and others are becoming extremely damaging. If South Africa is indeed part of Africa then we need to commit ourselves to the continent, not just in trite statements, and not in a patronising ‘big-brother’ way. Instead we need to recognise that we all on this bright continent are linked to each other integrally; that the umbilical cord to the heart of our Africanness may be damaged but that it can never be severed without killing us in the process.

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/ALL14675.aspx

 

Is Government nurturing Xenophobia?

May 26, 2008

Focus on Xenophobia
Is Government nurturing xenophobia?
by Steven Gordon

The recent wave of extreme xenophobic violence only serves to highlight a trend that has been developing within South Africa since the dawn of our celebrated democracy. For over a decade, state officials, law enforcement personnel and ordinary citizens have participated in abuses, frequently violent abuses, against foreigners. These abuses were, more often than not, sanctioned or at least ignored by the legitimate guardians of constitutional law.


Xenophobia, in South Africa, is not based on conflicting ethnicities but rather on the position of the immigrant before the law and lawmaking bodies. This moves beyond the law’s failed promise to protect immigrants and rests with the treatment of foreigners in the eyes of the law.

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/SGX14680.aspx

 

South Africa Safe from Scrutiny

May 26, 2008

Focus on Xenophobia
South Africa
remains safe from serious scrutiny
by Azad Essa

Media coverage on international news networks, like BBC and Sky, have had a field day broadcasting shocking images of recent events in South Africa: foreigners set alight, newly orphaned children clutching the hands of stranger’s and angry violent mobs ruling the streets of our business capital, Johannesburg. Likewise, our local press has expressed outrage, with dailies publishing very disturbing photographs on their front pages, both in protest and to cash in on the unfolding drama.

These are Africans being maimed and killed. While it signals a humanitarian crisis, it does not warrant a potent response from the developed world, as attacks on American or English citizens would generate. Until and unless it is in the interest of strong International powers to intervene and pressure the South African government to cipher solutions for the number of mitigating factors that have contributed to this tragedy, South Africa remains safe from serious scrutiny.

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/aaae14722.aspx


SA: A Land of Refuge?

May 26, 2008

UKZN STUDENTS SPEAK OUT
SA: a land of refuge?
by
Joly Lutakwa

Having witnessed the impact of similar attacks toward people who are different from ”Us”, in countries like Rwanda, Somalia and the DRC, I feel extreme concern about the fact that people are being attacked without a real or defendable cause, other than being (perceived as) different. We would never have imagined that black South Africans, after years of apartheid and experiencing what it meant to be treated differently, would fail to tolerate these unfortunate fellow Africans seeking safety within their borders. What is the point of being able to say that South Africa has acted in a praiseworthy way during the last war of apartheid, if we have nothing positive to say about what has been done in the current one?

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/JLl14686.aspx

 

People, Energy, Food, Environment: The Crisis of Ideas

May 15, 2008

Environment

People, Energy, Food, Environment: The Crisis of Ideas

     by Noel Chellan

 Historically defined progress encapsulated in quantifiable indicators, the dominant of which is the Gross National Product, has to be debunked in the face of the energy crisis, the food crisis, the environmental crisis, the unemployment crisis, the safety and security crisis and the many other unwarranted crises that seem to overflow from the womb of capitalist development. Actually, the crisis that we are burdened with, is a crisis of ideas, in so far as it is these ideas that define and inform how people, energy, food and the environment intersect with each other.

Noel Chellan is a lecturer at the School of Sociology & Social Sciences.

 

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/NC14323.aspx