POLITICAL TRUST, RECONCILIATION AND DEMOCRACY INTRODUCTION by NTOMBOVUYO LINDA
The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation’s (IJR) South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) has measured reconciliation in South Africa through public opinion surveying since 2003. For the past 15 years, the SARB has served as a driver for public debate on reconciliation and developing post-conflict discourse. Given the unequal and unjust economic and political power relations which characterise contemporary South Africa lowering levels of political trust can hinder meaningful reconciliation. Reconciliation, therefore, also has an important governance imperative, and is central to conflict resolution and social transformation. It is about finding creative and meaningful approaches to bring people together and closing the gaps of social divisions in societies with a conflict past.This article examines the relationship between reconciliation and political trust in South Africa in light of the IJR’s SARB 2017.Download Short Paper
Becoming a 21st Century Non-Racialist in South Africa by Neeshan Balton
This article highlights areas of work where new directions on the meaning and execution of non-racialism in post- apartheid South Africa are needed. As a visionary political concept which guided much of the liberation struggle during the latter part of the 20th century it now has to contend with being state policy as well as a constitutional principle. Its relevance to society today would require an ongoing examination of its meaning and applicability. The article also breaks non-racialism down into several manifestations and discusses each discretely and in relation to each other.
Key words: Non racialism, anti-racism, ANC, Post-apartheid South AfricaDownload Short Paper
Dr Abu Baker ‘Hurley’ Asvat: South African History Online
The article is a biography of Dr Abu Baker ‘Hurley’ Asvat, better known as the people’s doctor, from his childhood in Vrededorp to his medical study and political activism as part of a Pan Africanist Congress (PAC)-aligned students group. More importantly the article brings to light the significant role the peoples’ doctor played in non-racial cricket and his emergence as a vital figure in Sowto’s life and politics.
Key words: Dr Abu Baker ‘Hurley’ Asvat, Azania People’s Organization, Black Consciousness (BC), medical activism, non-racialism
The Thunder Before the Storm: Identity Constructions of Black South African Female Students by Bonolo Moposho and Prof Garth Stevens
(Bonolo Moposho and Prof Garth Stevens Profiles)
This was an exploratory study with a view to understand the identities of black South African women in higher education. The study is placed within the context of the Historically White University in South Africa. Through focus groups, the study investigated the experiences of sixteen South African black students; with a focus on their race, gender as well as class subject positions. A viewpoint of the intersectional and complex nature of identity was seen to be integral to understand the identities of black female students. The students’ articulations of their university experiences were explored, qualitatively, through three focus group discussions held at an Historically White University in Johannesburg. Results show that the Historically White Universities perpetuate the discourses of South Africa’s apartheid past and students’ identities are consequentially influenced by this. The implication is an alienation of the black identity in higher education.
Keywords: black female students, higher education, identity, post-apartheid South Africa
The Radical Refusal of the Colonial Gaze: A Reading of Post-Apartheid Social Reality Through the Recent Student Protests by Safiyya Goga
This short paper adds a complimentary angle to Sizwe-Mpofu Walsh’s perspective of race in South African life not being a problem of “a collection of racists” (see ASRI Short Paper 2 March 2016). I demonstrate that the problem of race is that we are unable to see ourselves and others outside of the colonial gaze that structures all social interactions and exchanges. The ways in which we relate to ourselves and others, is shaped by this invisible gaze.
In this way, the race problem is not just a black-white problem, but as I try to demonstrate, it is a problem for instance in how African and Indian communities in Durban see each other, as well as in how the (African) state sees its own poor/black citizens. The complexity of the race problem then is in how all social relations are structured by the enduring colonial gaze (which inscribes for instance the violability of poor/black bodies).
Student protests may indeed be seen as a rupture in that they aim to bring a new social reality into being. The refusal to adopt a pragmatic politics and contain issues for instance to ‘achievable’ goals such as #feesmustfall, is an indication of what is at stake in this struggle – a radical rupture with the past that the state has failed to deliver on (and in fact actively seeks to resist). Calling the state anti-black and placing themselves on the other side, the students are radically refusing the colonial gaze through which the state (and other actors) ask them to see themselves. Hyperlinks in the text provide further readings.
“[…] Africans and Indians have only been able to properly see and recognise each other through the mediation of a white colonial gaze, a master that distributed violence, care, desire, and partial recognition […]” (Hansen 2012: 136)
NEUTRALITY ENTRENCHES RACIAL INEQUALITY
By Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh (Sizwe’s Profile)
This paper focuses on two approaches to confronting racial oppression: the first is ‘post-racial pragmatism’, a strategy advanced, to varying degrees, by both the DA and the ANC. The second is racial radicalism, a strategy exemplified in various new student movements. The paper than argues that post-racial pragmatism is a deeply misguided strategy, and that a radical approach to racial inequality is the appropriate response, given our current malaise. Moreover, the paper argues that we simply cannot persist in the belief that neutrality will lead, by some magic, to racial justice. Radical and structural changes to our economy and society are the only way out of this conjuncture.
Key words: Post-racial pragmatism; racial radicalism; neutrality; racial inequalityDownload Short Paper
Opinion | Race Trouble in Post-Apartheid South Africa
By Professor Kevin Whitehead and Professor Kevin Durrheim
“Nineteen ninety-four was a watershed year for South Africa, ushering in democracy after centuries of colonial and apartheid rule. Prior to this, South Africa was the infamous “last bastion of legislated white supremacy” in the world”. In this week’s short paper series we challenge the perception on race and identity Post-apartheid South Africa’ through our opinion piece by Dr Kevin Whitehead and Prof Kevin Durrheim, who question “How have race relations changed since the transition to democracy?”.
In this Opinion Piece, Dr Whitehead and Prof Dhurrheim argue that despite what many have hailed as the miracle birth of the rainbow nation, there remain deep racial fissures in post-apartheid South Africa, and for this reason there will be no easy solutions to these social conflicts and struggles over race and its stubborn entanglements with other facets of social organisation.
This opinion piece brings attention to the critical question on the issue of racial relations in the transition to democracy and showing how South Africans are grappling with the legacy of apartheid.Download Short Paper
The Nation in the Post-apartheid Era: A Black Consciousness Perspective
By Dr Kenneth Tafira
(Dr Kenneth Tafira’s Profile)
The celebrated demise of apartheid in 1994 heralded a new historical era where non-racialism would bind the racially fractured nation. A new concept – The ‘Rainbow Nation’ – or ‘rainbowism’ emerged. Ethnic and racial differences would be effaced and a colour-blind future and society was envisaged. These particularisms, however, are far from disappearing. Under the ethos of rainbowism, race and racism recede to the background, become chameleonic and subterranean. As a result there is little attention given to how race continues to shape relationships and identities in the post-apartheid era.
Key Words: Nation, post-apartheid, rainbowism, multiculturalism, pluri-culturalism
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