Psychology
Welkom by Universiteit Stellenbosch

 

 

Is the lockdown authoritarian creep or ‘proportionate response’?https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7326Is the lockdown authoritarian creep or ‘proportionate response’?Steven Robins<p>​Is the lockdown an authoritarian creep or a 'proportionate response' to the COVID-19 pandemic? This is the question Prof Steven Robins from the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology tried to answer in an opinion piece published by Daily Maverick on Monday (4 May).<br></p><ul><li>Click <a href="https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-05-04-is-the-lockdown-authoritarian-creep-or-proportionate-response/"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>here</strong></span></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </span>to read the article.<br></li></ul><p><br></p>
COVID-19: South Africa's neglected military faces 'mission impossible'https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7260COVID-19: South Africa's neglected military faces 'mission impossible'Lindy Heinecken<p>South Africa's military has been deployed to help maintain law and order during the lockdown period. But it's going to struggle to fulfil the expected duties, argues Prof Lindy Heinecken from the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology in an article published by <em>The Conversation </em>recently (2 April).<br></p><ul><li>Read the complete article below or click <a href="https://theconversation.com/covid-19-south-africas-neglected-military-faces-mission-impossible-133250" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">here</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;"> </strong>for the piece as published.<br></li></ul><p><strong>COVID-19: South Africa's neglected military faces 'mission impossible'</strong></p><p>South Africa's military has been deployed in communities across the country to support efforts to contain the COVID-19 disease, and help <a href="https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/ramaphosa-officially-deploys-army-as-lockdown-is-hours-away/">save the lives</a> of citizens.</p><p>In terms of the mission to combat COVID-19, the defence force will, among other duties, protect quarantine sites, deliver food and others essential supplies to mass storage facilities, help police restrict people's movements, conduct road blocks and to curtail unrest.</p><p>But can it fulfil these duties? The South African National Defence Force has suffered from terrible neglect over the past 25 years of democracy. The result is that in this time of crisis, it may not be able to muster enough troops to maintain the lockdown.</p><p>Members of the South African Medical Health Services have also been deployed to provide health support services. But, only 2820 soldiers have been deployed, according to <a href="https://mg.co.za/coronavirus-essentials/2020-03-27-three-month-covid-19-deployment-of-sandf-planned/">official reports</a>.</p><p>The army only has 14 infantry battalions, consisting of about <a href="https://www.defenceweb.co.za/resources/fact-files/fact-file-the-sa-infantry-corps/">810 men and women each</a> - including 34 officers. And many soldiers <a href="https://www.defenceweb.co.za/sa-defence/sa-defence-sa-defence/sandf-highlights-support-to-the-people-of-south-africa/">are simply not deployable</a>, due to poor health and other manpower constraints, or other commitments like border control.</p><p>In its current condition, the defence force <a href="https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/portfolio-committee-hears-sandf-wage-bill-a-concern/">cannot meet the demands placed on it</a> to fight the coronavirus, in addition to serving on peacekeeping missions, and an array of other tasks, from <a href="https://www.defenceweb.co.za/sa-defence/sa-defence-sa-defence/sandf-highlights-support-to-the-people-of-south-africa/">disaster relief</a>, to bolstering internal safety and security and safeguarding the borders.</p><p>Another big concern is that soldiers are not trained in riot control, nor do they have the appropriate equipment for this. This could result in them using excessive force against civilians in line with their training, in response to violence.</p><p><strong>Why the army is in a parlous state</strong></p><p>The South African National Defence Force's poor capacity to deliver on its mandate of safeguarding the republic against foreign aggression go beyond <a href="https://theconversation.com/money-has-little-to-do-with-why-south-africas-military-is-failing-to-do-its-job-81216">purely budgetary constraints</a>. For the past 25 years' there has been little to no organisational transformation to reconfigure the force structure and design to meet current realities.</p><p>Force structure describes how military personnel, their weapons and equipment are organised for military operations, missions and tasks. Force design relates to the shape, structure and purpose to <a href="https://www.defenceweb.co.za/joint/military-art-a-science/feature-sandf-optimum-force-design/">meet operational needs</a>.</p><p>Instead, the military has been absorbed in the processes of political transformation, where the focus has been almost exclusively on ensuring that it is representative of broader society. The government has also been preoccupied with getting the military to be subservient to civil control.</p><p>I describe these processes, and the impact they are having in my new <a href="https://juta.co.za/catalogue/south-africas-post-apartheid-military_25860/">book</a>, <em>South Africa's post-apartheid Military: Lost in Transition and Transformation</em>. Both processes are <a href="https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/parliament-shines-spotlight-on-civil-military-relationship/">flawed</a>, and have negatively affected the military's efficiency, <a href="https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780191828836.001.0001/acref-9780191828836-e-241?rskey=jM8Mmk&result=2">effectiveness and professionalism</a>.</p><p>Where military generals function out of misplaced political loyalty, this inevitably results in a <a href="https://theconversation.com/money-has-little-to-do-withwhy-south-africas-military-is-failing-to-do-its-job-81216">breakdown in the chain of command</a>.</p><p>Secondly, in terms of civil oversight, where non-military people lack knowledge of military matters, this affects the quality of debates on defence matters. It also imperils policy formulation and advice in terms of the military's <a href="https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/infantry-to-be-police-support-backbone-during-coronavirus-lockdown/">strategic direction</a>.</p><p>Another problem has been the effect of cultural and human resource transformation. This focuses on addressing historical inequality, such as racial and gender discrimination, and labour practices. Here there have been numerous challenges, such as dealing with the impact of HIV and Aids <a href="https://juta.co.za/catalogue/south-africas-post-apartheid-military_25860/">and military unions</a>.</p><p>There are large numbers of military personnel who are not health-compliant. This affects all generic personnel processes, including training, deployment, and <a href="https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/threat-hivaids-south-african-armed-forces">maintenance and support functions</a>.</p><p>The military has been facing numerous other human resource challenges. It has major skills shortages, imbalances in terms of personnel structures, and is unable to rejuvenate its forces. This has led to <a href="https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/sandf-personnel-could-be-trimmed-by-ten-thousand/">an aging force and rank stagnation</a>, which means that people cannot be promoted. The reserves, which are <a href="https://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/sandf-calls-reserve-force-members-covid-19-deployment">being called up</a> under the National Disaster Management Act, are in a similar state. With a strength of 20 000 and an average age of 43yrs, this back-up has <a href="https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/27450/">limited capacity</a>.</p><p><strong>Risky choice</strong></p><p>These political, cultural and human resource issues have distracted the military from focusing on the pressing issues of <a href="https://juta.co.za/catalogue/south-africas-post-apartheid-military_25860/">operational and organisational reform</a>.</p><p>The <a href="http://pmg-assets.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/170512review.pdf">2015 Defence Review</a>, maps out the future security landscape and priority tasks of the military. Priority tasks include to defend and safeguard South Africa, promote peace and security, and perform developmental tasks. But these ideals are unrealistic in light of <a href="https://www.defenceweb.co.za/sa-defence/sa-defence-sa-defence/defence-review-2015-unlikely-to-ever-be-fully-implemented/">current budgetary constraints</a>.</p><p>It will take great ingenuity to restructure the country's armed forces to <a href="http://pmg-assets.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/170512review.pdf">meet even the most key obligations</a>, including countering external security threats against the country and peacekeeping in Africa.</p><p>External threats are both traditional and non-traditional, including regional and local conflicts; violent political, religious extremism as well as terrorism, and high levels of international crime.</p><p>Internally, threats include illegal immigration, crime syndicates, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10246029.2019.1650787?src=recsys&journalCode=rasr20">gansterism</a>, and having to deal with medical crises such as Covid-19.</p><p><strong>What's needed</strong></p><p>The first thing that's needed to transform the military is decisive, strong leadership from politicians and military leaders. There needs to be a clear articulation of what capabilities they want going forward.</p><p>Priority tasks will increasingly be those affecting the citizens of South Africa directly, in cooperation with the police. These include deterring and preventing conflict, safeguarding borders, protecting critical infrastructure, and promoting safety and security. It'd be impossible for the defence force to perform these tasks effectively, and still contribute to peace and stability on the continent, within current budgetary and organisational constraints.</p><p>The reality is that South African citizens and politicians become interested in the affairs of the military only when there's a crisis. This leaves it to function <a href="https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/time-for-a-long-hard-look-at-the-sandf/">in a vacuum</a>.</p><p>The COVID-19 pandemic might just show how weak the country's military is. It remains to be seen if it will be up to the task if the frustrations caused by the lockdown were to erupt into violent conflict. How well it helps the police contain and suppress this violence will be a telling sign of the country's state of defence.<br></p><p><br></p>
Goodbye, Pieter Muysken – and thank youhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8156Goodbye, Pieter Muysken – and thank youProf Frenette Southwood (translated by Dr Kate Huddlestone)​As with many linguistics departments across the world, we have read Pieter Muysken's work, and prescribed it to our students – and we do so still. We also have had the privilege to get to know Pieter personally, firstly in 2004 as PhD-supervisor of one of our colleagues, and later (from 2011) as extraordinary professor in our department. His period as fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study (STIAS) was a pleasant opportunity to spend time with Pieter – both academically and socially.<p></p><p>Pieter was an interesting person, but also an interested one. He was naturally interested in Afrikaans and its history, as well as language contact and code-switching in South African contexts, but the history of South Africa and her diverse people, local happenings, the natural heritage of our country and less well-known attractions also captured his interest. For example, during a visit to Grahamstown, when he was invited to be a plenary speaker at the yearly linguistics conference which was held that year at Rhodes University, he looked forward to visiting the town's observatory museum – this while the majority of South African conference attendees were blissfully unaware of the existence of the museum. It appeared that the idea of a visit to this small little museum made him just as excited as the whales that he saw frolicking along the coast in Hermanus. Pieter was no pleasure seeker, but he was definitely a pleasure finder, and he had the gift of finding enjoyment in both large and small things. </p><p>During his visits to Stellenbosch, Pieter gave lectures and seminars for staff and students on language contact phenomena, but he also started a remarkable tradition: At his request, research presentation days were organised. Masters and doctoral students were given the opportunity to present their research proposals (and their studies as they stood at that point in time) to Pieter, other members of the department and each other. The students benefited richly from Pieter's deep knowledge, sharp insight and meaningful comments and suggestions. But what will remain with us as staff is Pieter's sincere interest (as one of the world's best sociolinguists) in the work of young researchers, even if their work didn't deal with language contact or language structure phenomena. This testifies to Pieter's wide field of interest, but also his humility despite his stature as an academic. </p><p>How will we remember Pieter? As an academic superstar without pretention – someone who was generous with his time, knowledge and money, who was equally comfortable conversing with undergraduate students as with rectors, who was cheerful and always laughing. Future generations of linguists in our department and elsewhere will benefit from his pioneering work, but they will not get to know Pieter the energetic people person. We mourn Pieter's passing, but we are thankful for the privilege of having had him as part of our department. For many of us, he changed how we move through our working life.​​</p>
SU honours the late Rachel Kachaje for her visionary leadershiphttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7905SU honours the late Rachel Kachaje for her visionary leadershipCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking [Rozanne Engel]<p>​<br></p><p style="text-align:left;">Stellenbosch University (SU) has honoured the late Ms Rachel Kachaje, who passed away earlier this year, with an honorary doctorate.  The degree Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), <em>posthumous honoris causa</em>, was awarded to her for her creative and visionary leadership in elevating the debate on disability to regional and global platforms.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Her husband Gibson accepted the award on behalf of the family at a small physical graduation ceremony for doctoral graduates from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences held at SU's Endler Hall in the <em>Konservatorium</em> on Monday 14 December 2020.</p><p style="text-align:left;">During the ceremony, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers said that Kachaje's “effectiveness in disability advocacy" did not go unnoticed and that the University “salutes her extraordinary work" in advocating for the full inclusion of people with disabilities at local, regional and international level.<br></p><p style="text-align:left;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/HonDocAbsentia-3.jpg" alt="HonDocAbsentia-3.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:300px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:left;">“Kachaje was a disability activist for over 25 years, advocating for equal opportunities and rights for people with disabilities in Malawi, the African region and internationally. She challenged the prejudiced notions of disability and was known for her ability to inspire young people with disabilities, for her embodiment of the values of compassion, respect, excellence, accountability and equity," said De Villiers.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Kachaje, who became disabled at the age of three due to a polio outbreak, was working for the National Bank of Malawi when she first joined the disability movement in Malawi. She co-founded the Federation of Disability Organisations' (FEDOMA) in the 1990s and represented it in the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD).</p><p style="text-align:left;">In addition, Ms Kachaje was a board member of the Africa Disability Alliance and the EquitAble Project at Trinity College and Stellenbosch University, co-founder of Disabled Women in Development, commissioner of the National AIDS Commission and secretary of the African Disability Forum Board, to name just some of her leadership roles.</p><p style="text-align:left;">She was elected Minister of Disability and Elderly Affairs in Malawi and in 2004 received a Malawi Human Rights Award and a Diversity Leader Award.  She was part of the landmark negotiations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and contributed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) discussions.  </p><p style="text-align:left;">“Kachaje had a proven ability in advancing the agendas of people with disabilities in general and in particular women and girls with disabilities. Her mission was to advocate and promote rights for people with disabilities and to lead a life that would always affect them in a positive manner," said De Villiers.</p><p>To watch the full graduation ceremony, click <a href="https://youtu.be/4y9XqwQFPiE"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">here</strong></a>. ​<br></p><p><em>In the photo above from left, Prof Wim de Villiers​ (SU Rector & Vice-Chancellor), Prof Anthony Leysens ​(Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences), Gibson Kachaje and Justice Edwin Cameron (SU Chancellor)</em><br></p><p><br></p>
Translated work brings to light the political thoughts of one SA's leading black intellectuals https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7532Translated work brings to light the political thoughts of one SA's leading black intellectuals Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Thanks to the work of four academics from across the globe, the travelogue of one of South Africa's leading black intellectuals of the early 20<sup>th</sup> century, the late Professor DDT (Davidson Don Tengo) Jabavu of Fort Hare University, has been published in a bilingual edition by Wits University Press. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The travelogue, called <em>In India and East Africa / E-Indiya nase East Africa – A travelogue in isiXhosa and English</em>, captures Jabavu's reflections during his four-month trip to India to attend the World Pacifist Meeting in Santiniketan and Sevagram in 1949, as well as his thoughts on how Mahatma Gandhi's principles of non-violence may be applied in South Africa's struggle for freedom. This little-known isiXhosa text, written in a conversational tone, provides a rare perspective on the mid-twentieth century transnational pacifist scene after Mahatma Gandhi's death. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Jabavu's travelogue contributes to scholarship on intellectual exchanges between Africa and India but also shows a South African at home in the world. There have been many texts written by Indian travellers encountering Africa, but the perspective of a black South African on encountering India is much rarer," explains Prof Tina Steiner, Associate Professor in the English Department at Stellenbosch University (SU) and one the co-editors of the book. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Jabavu was a seasoned international traveller who starts his narrative mentioning his extensive previous travels and places this particular voyage in the context of a life of travel in the pursuit of support for equality for South Africa's black population," adds Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The travelogue traces how geographies of various emancipatory movements – the civil rights movement, African liberation movements and the international peace movement – intersected at the World Pacifist Meeting.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Besides Steiner, who was the lead editor, the editorial team comprised Dr Mhlobo W. Jadezweni from Rhodes University, who is an isiXhosa expert and who updated the orthography of the original from 1951; and Prof Catherine Higgs, a historian and Head of the Department of History and Sociology at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus; and Prof Evan M. Mwangi, a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Northwestern University in the United States and a Professor Extraordinaire of English at SU. Higgs is the author of the biography <em>The Ghost of Equality - The Public Lives of D.D.T. Jabavu of South Africa 1885-1959.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The translation from isiXhosa into English was executed by the late Dr Cecil Wele Manona, an Anthropologist and Senior Research Officer at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Rhodes University.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Steiner explains that while Jabavu wrote most of his many books in English, he tended to write in isiXhosa towards the end of his life after his retirement from public life. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“This was also the case with his travel account to India and East Africa which was originally published in parts in the weekly <em>Imvo Zabantsundu</em><em> </em>(African Opinion), which Jabavu's father, the politician and newspaper editor John Tengo Jabavu had founded in 1884; and then in book format by Lovedale Press in 1951." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The younger Jabavu was a professor in African Languages who taught at Fort Hare University from 1916 to 1944. While he was also politician, a pacifist and a staunch Methodist, he was first and foremost an educator and his politics came from a real concern for the quality of education for black students in South Africa. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“You have to understand that Fort Hare was the key institution of higher learning for black students from all over Africa at the time. So it was not surprising that when Jabavu embarked on his trip to India, many of his ex-Fort Hare students sent telegrams to him and asked him to stop over in Mombasa and Kampala to visit them, which he did on his return from India. The travelogue thus also invites reflections on the significance of a pan-African network of ex-Fort Hare students," says Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In November 1949, Jabavu set off for India via ship from Durban to attend the World Pacifist Meeting as one of 93 delegates from 31 countries across the world. After a week in Santiniketan, the delegates were split into groups and spent the next two weeks visiting various sites associated with Mahatma Gandhi's life and work. At the end of the two weeks, Jabavu and his group reconvened with all the other delegates in Gandhi's village, Sevagram, where the conference continued. However, his writings do not only describe the sights he saw in India and his experiences with his host families, but also reflects on the content of the conference itself.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“He provides us with insight on the proceedings, the discussions and resolutions of the conference and talks about listening to prominent pacifists like Dr Rajendra Prasad, Vera Brittain, Dr Mordecai Johnson, Rev Michael Scott, Dr Pao Swen Tseng to name just a few. Jabavu also met Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, whom he mentions he shook hands with in Parliament, as well as other government officials in independent India."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The narrative shows how inspired he was by Gandhi's methods of non-violent resistance, his civil disobedience and ability to politically mobilise the masses. During his return voyage, he also met with important anti-colonial activists in Uganda and Kenya, like Elind Mathu, Harry Thuku and Jomo Kenyatta."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“From his writings, it is clear that Jabavu wanted to share these discussions with his fellow black South Africans. He was a Christian and believed in a Christianity that needed to be socially involved and relevant, and he very much focused on the principles of self-restraint and service to others and the impact that it could have on social transformation."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/DDT%20Jabavu%20book%20cover.jpg" alt="DDT Jabavu book cover.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="text-align:justify;margin:5px;width:400px;height:600px;" /><strong>How the travelogue came about</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The publication of Jabavu's work is the end product of a project, Indian Ocean Epistemologies, which Steiner and Mwangi had been collaborating on since 2017. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Through this project, Steiner and Mwangi developed a joint curriculum which was taught at Northwestern University in Chicago in 2018 and at SU in 2020; published a special issue on Indian Ocean Trajectories in <em>The Journal of Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies</em>; and decided to publish the translated travelogue of Jabavu as part of their mission to translate a text that “would enrich the primary archive of Indian Ocean Studies from an African perspective". Their project formed part of a larger, overarching project called Global Theory in the South based at Northwestern University and led by Prof Penelope Deutscher. The overarching project was funded by the AW Mellon Foundation and is part of an initiative of the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“While Jabavu's travelogue <em>E-Indiya nase East Africa</em> had been publicly available for nearly seven decades, it was written in an old isiXhosa orthography and was thus not easy to read for contemporary readers," explains Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, after seeing reference made to the travelogue in Prof Isabel Hofmeyr's groundbreaking article 'The Black Atlantic Meets the Indian Ocean' and hearing her mention Jabavu's travelogue on a few other occasions, Steiner started her search for an English translation. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This search led her to Higgs, who had published the DDT Jabavu biography <em>The Ghost of Equality</em>, which wasbased on research she had done in the late 1980s and 1990s for her PhD. Higgs had commissioned the help of Manona to translate Jabavu's isiXhosa text and shared this with Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I really want to pay tribute to the late Dr Manona who translated Jabavu's travelogue as well as his wife, Mrs Nobantu Manona who gave us permission to use her late husband's translation in this edition." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She explains that the original isiXhosa text by Lovedale that Manona had used for his translation was then edited by Dr Jadezweni, who had to update the old isiXhosa to the contemporary orthography approved by the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB). <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Jadezweni said that he had not encountered such a rich and beautifully written isiXhosa text before. Jabavu wrote in a conversational tone in a stream of consciousness style and made use of many isiXhosa idioms in his text. He was an entertaining writer with wide-ranging interests who wanted to encourage his local audience to see their own struggles reflected in similar struggles for equality across the globe." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The travelogue's transnational orientation, its commitment to pacifism and its insistence that political dialogue is possible, make <em>In India and East Africa/ E-Indiya nase East Africa</em><em> </em>an important document of the rich and diverse black South African intellectual tradition. Moreover, it once again confirms the significance of preserving and making accessible African-language texts to readers across Africa and the world."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Main photo: DDT Jabavu (right) with his father, the politician and news editor John Tengo Jabavu, as a young man and later as lecturer at Fort Hare University.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Story photo: The front cover of the travelogue,</em> <em>In India and East Africa / E-Indiya nase East Africa – A travelogue in isiXhosa and English, which</em><em> </em><em>captures Jabavu's reflections during his four-month trip to India to attend the World Pacifist Meeting in Santiniketan and Sevagram in 1949</em>.<br></p>
COVID-19 is an opportunity to make our circles biggerhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7548COVID-19 is an opportunity to make our circles biggerJudy-Ann Cilliers<p>​The COVID-19 pandemic should also be seen as an opportunity to reach out to vulnerable foreigners who try to make a living in South Africa, writes Dr Judy-Ann Cilliers from the Department of Philosophy in a doctoral-based opinion piece for the <em>Mail & Guardian </em>(31 July).</p><div><ul><li><p>​Read the article below or click <a href="https://mg.co.za/coronavirus-essentials/2020-07-31-covid-19-is-an-opportunity-to-make-our-circles-bigger/"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">here</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>for the piece as published.</p></li></ul><p><strong>Judy-Ann Cilliers*</strong></p><p>When President Ramaphosa announced the national state of disaster on 15 March, many breathed a sigh of relief. We were witnessing a world being consumed by a new virus with many world leaders failing to take sufficient action. Our government's early and decisive response communicated a desire to protect its people. Yet even then we knew that the cost will be high, and it will mostly be paid by those already marginalised in our society. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">These past few months we have seen more instances of domestic and gender-based violence, more people losing their jobs as businesses close, and as the number of infections grow, more people without sufficient access to healthcare. In a world that was already becoming more hospitable to xenophobic nationalisms, we read and hear about increased attacks on foreigners, especially of Asian descent, across the globe – any outsider is a threat, a potential carrier.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">While we speak of the 'unprecedented times' we are living through, this kind of attack is not unprecedented. It is a common narrative in South Africa that foreigners should be kept out because they bring disease into the country. All kinds of xenophobic discrimination, exclusion, and violence against foreign nationals have been justified by the claim that 'they' are the cause of real diseases, such as HIV/Aids, and moral 'diseases', such as drug addiction and crime.  That this is true only in some cases is irrelevant to the xenophobe; humans easily extrapolate from 'some' or even 'one' to 'all'. The individual, collective, and systemic causes of xenophobia, and its intersection with racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression, are complex in ways I cannot do justice to here. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Studying instances of xenophobic discrimination and violence, one thing becomes apparent: the choice of victim is not determined by the individual's guilt, actions, legal status, or even their real nationality. It is enough that they exist <em>here </em>(wherever 'here' may be), and that they are perceived as a foreigner by the xenophobe. Xenophobia is therefore not a response to a specific threat – despite our rationalisations about crime and job scarcity and viruses – but to a perceived threat, where the perception is shaped by the xenophobe's own prejudices and stereotypes, and by our political narratives around belonging, borders, nationhood, and membership. Such narratives shape our ideas about who has a right to belong or to exist here, and who does not.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The fear underlying such perceptions may have different origins or motivations. In the South African context, migration and development expert Loren Landau identifies a deep apprehension about the meaning of belonging, an apprehension anthropologist Frances Nyamnjoh locates in a historically oppressed and excluded citizenry who, for the most part, still cannot meaningfully access the benefits and rights that come with membership. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Xenophobia is a reaction to a sense of insecurity, of not having a place where one belongs, and an accompanying attempt to establish security. As we face the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic – rising unemployment, lower levels of food security, a weakened economy, and individual and collective trauma – the xenophobic violence that is already characteristic of contemporary South Africa may become more prevalent and entrenched. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The irony is that the logic underlying such violence and such attempts to establish security and belonging preclude the possibility of establishing a more secure society, for it is a logic that seeks to exclude and even destroy that which is strange or new, and it inevitably becomes self-consuming. If belonging is rigidly defined and policed, the circle of who 'truly belongs' will inevitably become smaller and smaller. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">This logic stands opposed to what political theorist Hannah Arendt called the fundamental human capacity of natality – our ability to begin something new. This ability is the root of our freedom, as we constantly bring new things into the world through our actions and interactions with others. It is also necessarily unpredictable, which is why we often respond to it with fear and a desire to control. In asserting control, we banish the new and the strange and the unpredictable, and along with that our own ability to act and exist freely. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The pandemic poses a challenge that, for most people, is radically new. We have reason to be afraid in our current circumstances – to fear for our lives and livelihoods, to worry about the country and the world's future. These fears have been closely tied to our fear of others for so long, and the pandemic makes breaking those ties so much harder. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">It is harder to conceptualise a form of belonging that is not exclusionary when we are isolated from one another, when the risks of sharing the world with others are so evident, and when we do not even feel safe in our own homes. We have seen examples of incredible selfishness and cruelty in this pandemic. Predictably, some of the regulations put in place to protect and support people in South Africa during this time negatively affected foreigners in ways citizens were not affected, especially those that initially limited the activities of informal traders and workers.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Yet the newness and strangeness of our situation offers us an opportunity to reassess our assumptions, to create new world-shaping narratives, and to act in unpredictable ways. After hurricanes or earthquakes, great fires or terrorist attacks, when people are on the edge of life and access to resources cannot be guaranteed, we do not only see dog- eat-dog competition, but also altruism, solidarity, and empathy, often between people who under normal circumstances would not have reached out to each other. Uncertainty can make us hunker down, but it can also open our eyes to realities and injustices we were unable to see before. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">As we create meaning in this pandemic and from this virus, as we analyse and live through the implications of the lockdown, and as we try to rebuild and, perhaps, build anew, we need a critical awareness of the precarious position of foreign nationals in our society, as well as the true danger to a society when it does not protect its most vulnerable members.<br></p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li><strong>Photo</strong>: A group of people gathering. <strong>Credit</strong>: Wikipedia.</li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>*Dr Judy-Ann Cilliers is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Philosophy at Stellenbosch University (SU). This article is based, in part, on her recent doctorate in Philosophy at SU.​</strong></p><p><br></p></div>
Quo Vadis democracy? https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5145Quo Vadis democracy? Corporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>In 1994, South Africans welcomed democracy with open arms. But today this embrace doesn't seem to be as tight as we would like it to be. <br></p><p>“It appears that we aren't quite so sure what to make of our democracy," says Dr Cindy Steenekamp, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University.</p><p>In a recent study, Steenekamp, for the first time, mapped the characteristics of a democracy community in South Africa by looking at people's commitment to democratic values, and their support for the country's democratic regime and political authorities. Her research question related specifically to the persistence of democracy and how this has been impacted by the political attitudes and behaviour of South Africans since 1994.</p><p>The findings of Steenekamp's study was published in the <em>Taiwan Journal of Democracy</em>.</p><p>She analysed data from the last four waves of the World Values Survey (WVS) conducted in South Africa between 1995 and 2013 to measure the level of political culture in the country, the support for the democratic regime and the political process, as well as the level of institutional trust in political parties, government, and parliament. The WVS is a valuable worldwide network of social scientists studying changing values and their impact on social and political life over time. During each of the four periods, face-to-face interviews were held with representative samples of adult South Africans in urban and rural areas in their preferred language. </p><p>Steenekamp says the analysis of this data revealed that while there is support for democratic rule and the current political system, support for authoritarianism has increased and confidence in government institutions has decreased.</p><p>“On the one hand, support for democratic rule is fairly high, despite a sharp decline between 2006 and 2013, and higher than support for authoritarian rule. Support for the current political system is steadily increasing." </p><p>“At the same time, however, support for authoritarianism has more than doubled since 1995 and is nearing the 50 percent threshold and confidence in governmental institutions is decreasing and, in 2013, dropped below 50 percent for the first time since transition."</p><p>“The fact that the gap between support for democratic rule and authoritarian rule has narrowed from 71.3 percent in 1995 to 25.2 percent in 2013, does not bode well for the persistence of a democratic community in South Africa."</p><p>Steenekamp<strong> </strong>adds that confidence in various governmental institutions, such as political parties, parliament, and the government, decreased by more than 20 percent between 1995 and 2013.</p><p>She also notes that data showed a decline in South Africans' positive attitude toward law-abidingness, despite the fact that they generally condemn unconventional forms of political behaviour such as protest action and the use of force to gain political goods.</p><p>Steenekamp says there could be different reasons for these contradictory results.</p><p>“One could argue that commitment to democracy has not become fully entrenched in our value system as a result of the socio-economic reality that plagues the country. Although the black middle class has grown since 1994, the challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality remain."</p><p>“Despite the provision of basic infrastructure and social welfare, the majority of South</p><p>Africans are yet to substantially improve their living standards."</p><p>“Also the changing nature of party politics, especially within the ANC, and rampant political corruption are likely responsible for South Africans' loss of confidence in the state and political leaders. The increase in unconventional political behaviour (i.e., protest action, in response to poor service delivery) is a direct result of citizen dissatisfaction with the state."</p><p>According to Steenekamp, the levels of discontent and civil disobedience could become the dominant political resource used by the people to mobilize public opinion and influence policy makers. </p><p>“Protest action has a negative effect on the persistence of a democratic community and culture once it becomes violent." </p><p>She adds that we should not forget that, unlike an authoritarian regime, a democratic government like ours needs the support of its citizens to maintain its legitimacy.</p><p>Steenekamp highlights the importance of a political culture that is conducive to democracy and says “democratic institutions alone will not keep our democracy stable and effective."</p><p><strong><em>Reference</em></strong><em>: </em>Steenekamp, C (2013). Democratic Political Community in South Africa Elusive or Not? <em>Taiwan Journal of Democracy</em>. Volume 13, No. 1, July 2017.</p><p><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Dr Cindy Steenekamp </p><p>Department of Political Science</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 2115</p><p>E-mail: <a href="mailto:cindylee@sun.ac.za">cindylee@sun.ac.za</a> </p><p><strong>              </strong><strong>OR</strong></p><p>Martin Viljoen<br></p><p>Manager: Media</p><p>Corporate Communication</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p>E-mail: <a href="mailto:viljoenm@sun.ac.za">viljoenm@sun.ac.za</a><br></p><p><br></p>
Why was Afrikaner Economic Empowerment more effective than BEE? https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7463Why was Afrikaner Economic Empowerment more effective than BEE? Jantjie Xaba<p>​​There were a few reasons why Afrikaner Economic Empowerment was more effective than Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, writes Dr Jantjie Xaba (Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology) in an opinion piece for <em>Mail & Guardian</em> (29 June).</p><ul><li>Read the article below or click <a href="https://mg.co.za/opinion/2020-06-29-why-afrikaner-affirmative-action-was-more-effective-than-bee/"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">here</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>for the piece as published.<br></li></ul><p><strong>​Jantjie Xaba*</strong><br></p><p>Despite its promises, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) has not delivered the same benefits post 1994 as Afrikaner Economic Empowerment (AEE) had done after the Great Depression of 1930. Both programmes relied on job creation, skills development, and welfare services. </p><p>However, unlike BBBEE, AEE went beyond this by relying on the Helpmekaarvereniging (Mutual Aid Association) tradition of mobilizing capital that triggered volkskapitalisme (people's capitalism). Since 1994, BBBEE has used similar strategies – within a different political and economic environment with a large, diverse population as its target – yet failed to deliver the benefits to blacks owing to various macro and micro factors.<br></p><p>In my recent doctoral study, I focused on how the four dimensions of empowerment, namely economic, political, social and cultural operated at the macro-level and how they were applied at a micro-level. To compare BBBEE and AEE, I used Iscor, now called ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA since 2004) in Vanderbijlpark as a case study by analysing relevant documents, conducting in-depth interviews and having focus groups discussions with current and former workers and managers as well as union officials. <br></p><p>When comparing these two programmes, we have to understand the nature and the role of the welfare state. Under AEE, since 1924, the National Party (NP) established a welfare state with the support from Afrikaner Nationalists that rolled out social services. This was maintained through legislation, fiscal steps, and a large network of parastatals to empower poor whites. Modelled on Keynesianism, these parastatals, including Iscor, were used to support a developmental agenda of the state that comprised of the provision of protected employment, housing, education, and medical services to white employees and their families. In Vanderbijlpark, Iscor Housing Utility and VESCO carried out these functions. Under BBBEE, the ANC formed a developmental state based on a liberal model that combined market-based, private, contributory schemes with minimum government support for social services. Compared to AEE, the impact was very little. <br></p><p>A closer look at the four dimensions of empowerment mentioned above revealed that political empowerment involves a collective struggle to increase control of the poor over resources and regulative institutions, and transformation of existing power relations. Under AEE, Afrikaner Nationalists adopted a political-legal framework to mobilize white Afrikaners and provide the basis for AEE. The Afrikaner <em>Broederbond (Afrikaner Brotherhood) </em>used patronage to systematically appoint Afrikaners in positions of control and ownership in government and parastatals to reduce power and control of English white-speakers and moderate Afrikaners not affiliated with the NP. After 1948, Afrikaner Nationalism remained a powerful political force that determined employment and skills development within the public sector and civil service. </p><p>The ANC adopted affirmative action and BBBEE as redress for demographic misrepresentation in appointments and promotions within parastatals. Its cadre deployment strategy was used to appoint blacks and women in senior management positions and as non-executive directors of the Iscor board. However, deep racial divisions overshadowed this policy as white employees at AMSA continued to enjoy more power. Additionally, senior management, middle management, supervisory and skilled positions were still dominated by whites, while blacks constituted between 83 and 96 percent of unskilled and semi-skilled positions.<br></p><p>Economic empowerment seeks to ensure that people have the appropriate skills and access to secure sustainable incomes and livelihoods. Since the depression, macroeconomic policy has focused on public redistributive policies such as taxes, transfers, and government spending. To this day, economic empowerment has been reduced to scorecards, graphs, indices, and scores. From 1924 onwards, with the support of white trade unions, AEE became a project of the nationalist government to roll out welfare benefits, to provide standard employment with regular hours, pensions, and service benefits to poor whites. This combination of racist labour market policies, social welfare, and favourable credit arrangement allowed the white elite to become professional and supervisors and steadily increased their real pay. This resulted in social mobility for many whites as many benefited from career advancement both inside and outside Iscor.<br></p><p>From the 1970s onwards, SOEs were criticized as being too large and inefficient to deal with growing debt. The NP government responded to the crisis by adopting a nation-wide program of privatization of SOEs, including Iscor in 1989. In 1994, the ANC applied the same strategy by adopting the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) to increase spending on social development but later reversed this when it implemented the Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) strategy. GEAR focused on accelerating fiscal reform, furthering tariff reform, public sector restructuring, and continuing the reorientation of expenditure towards service delivery to the poor. Following the liberalization of trade, the steel tariffs declined from 30 percent to 5 percent, causing major flooding of the South African market by cheap Chinese steel products. This resulted in a reduction in sales volumes and production, as well as capacity utilization. <br></p><p>Under the new economic policy and new management, AMSA's number of full-time workers declined from 14000 in 1990 to 8500 in 1998 and 6000 in 2016. Additionally, AMSA adopted a labour market flexibility strategy in which 50% of its workforce were casuals, part-time workers, and subcontractors supplied by Monyetla Labour Broking, a subsidiary of VESCO. Further, AMSA outsourced non-core functions and services, such as fire detection, catering, security, facilities management, and cleaning services that have benefited white employees and generated precarious work for the majority of African workers.<br></p><p>The role of culture in enabling empowerment has long been debated by social scientists. French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu recognized culture as a form of 'capital', having material benefits and convertible to a wide range of assets such as linguistic services, scientific knowledge, and educational qualifications. In recent debates, social scientists applied social capital to explain how poor people develop bonding, bridging, and linking capital through social networks to foster moral responsibilities and norms, and social values to promote social empowerment.  <br></p><p>My study found that under AEE, civil society organisations (CSOs) like the <em>Broederbond</em>, the <em>Helpmekaarvereniging</em>, and the <em>Afrikaanse Christelike Vroue Vereeniging</em> (Afrikaans Christian Women's Association) played an important role in organizing white Afrikaners and articulating their various interests in society, as well as building capacity and awareness of resources mobilization. This highlights the role of people, civil society organizations, and networks as resources to promote empowerment. Leaders of AEE in Vanderbijlpark used the <em>Helpmekaar</em> tradition to provide poor whites with some form of training, bursaries and offer support to establish Afrikaans-owned enterprises. </p><p>The <em>Broederbond</em> established <em>Sakekamer </em>(Chamber of Commerce) to facilitate social networks, cooperation amongst white businessmen, and to discover mutual benefits between Afrikaners and those in business and government. Iscor founded Iscor Club with membership restricted to whites only to foster the development of 'community' and promote the development of social capital.</p><p>Despite their notorious race policies, the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) contributed to Afrikaner social empowerment in Vanderbijlpark by preaching and applying the late eighteen-century Calvinist doctrines of the Protestants. The DRC organized the Afrikaner community into a cultural fabric and encouraged principles of hard work, respect for the authorities, and an intolerant attitude towards dishonesty or corruption. In terms of language, white Afrikaners believed that the Anglicisation policies of the British Empire had destroyed their language. Through its <em>Federasie van Afrikaanse-Kultuurvereniginge</em> (Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Organisations), the <em>Broederbond</em> used Afrikaans to develop a homogenous group identity, build nationalism, and foster group cohesion among whites. </p><p>Under BBBEE, social empowerment was obliterated due to the lack of alignment between politics, the economy, and CSOs. Compounding this problem was the fact that before 1994, CSOs have been at the forefront of social change, fighting for democratic rights and social justice but post-1994, they were side-lined by the government. Despite the culture of Ubuntu and stokvels in African communities, few organizations except workplace forums existed in the black townships to promote social empowerment. African languages were suppressed at AMSA with English and Afrikaans acting as dominant languages. Religion in Vanderbijlpark was undergoing secularisation with old denominations disintegrating and new charismatic churches on the rise. </p><p><br>It's clear that AEE was more effective than BBBEE because firstly, even though economic empowerment was the ultimate goal, AEE was supported by political-legal and socio-cultural dimensions. Secondly, the AEE macroeconomic policy was underpinned by a Keynesian philosophy where the state, business, and white trade unions formed a social contract to uplift the poor. Lastly, CSOs played a major role in supporting AEE and the development of social capital using language, religion, and nationalism; while under BBBEE, CSOs were alienated from the state and, as a result, could not continue playing a key role in bringing about social change and social justice. ​ <br></p><ul><li><strong>Photo</strong>: A township in Cape Town. <strong>Credit</strong>: Wikimedia Commons<br></li></ul><p><strong>*Dr Jantjie Xaba is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University (SU). This article is based on his recent doctorate in Sociology at SU.</strong></p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>​ </p><p><br></p>
Endler Concert Series UNLOCKED ONLINEhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7583Endler Concert Series UNLOCKED ONLINEFiona Grayer<p>​Like many other performance spaces in the world, the Endler Concert Series, as part of the Music Department at Stellenbosch University, had to suspend its weekly concerts due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the measures put in place to contain the virus. Artists and various role-players in the sector are looking to online platforms as an interim measure that could offer artists some financial recourse in the face of months of lost work that evaporated due to the global pandemic, as well as to find a way to maintain contact with audiences in this time of social distancing and little contact.<br></p><p>The Endler Concert Series has taken the initiative to revise the 2020 concert planning and gather resources to be able to present an online concert every two weeks from 23 August until December 2020, featuring students, alumni, lecturers and local artists. “The vision is to keep the Endler concert hall alive, until we return to face-to-face events, so that audiences can safely enjoy professionally produced concerts from their homes," says Fiona Grayer, Artistic Manager. “I am so pleased this online series strongly supports local content and in fact, seven out of the eight concerts feature works by South African composers! In addition to this, we are commissioning two Cape Town composers, Hugo Veldsman and Matthijs van Dijk, to create new works that will live beyond this crisis."<br></p><p> “Concerts will be entirely free, but if people wish to show support, donations will be possible via a SnapScan with these contributions from the audience going towards recuperating the costs of recording and producing the concerts. For the SU Jazz Band concert in September, donations will go directly to a charity – the Stellenbosch Work Centre for Adult Persons with Disabilities, who annually partner with the SU Jazz Band to raise much needed funds for the Centre. The SU Jazz Band concert is generously supported by SAMRO and ConcertsSA."<br></p><p>“We take great pride in our curation of these concerts which present a wide variety of music including rarely performed works by Nadia Boulanger and Rebecca Clarke. It is a new world for the music industry - events can be produced from anywhere and broadcast to a global audience. Our primary concern is the health and safety of our audiences, musicians, and students. It has become very clear that large groups of people will not be able to safely gather for the remainder of the calendar year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, we are exploring options for concerts of our Departmental ensembles in smaller gatherings when possible but for now we hope our audience will join us in the virtual concert hall."​<br></p><p>For more detailed information about where to watch, when to watch, who will be performing, what will be performed please visit <a href="http://www.endler.sun.ac.za/">www.endler.sun.ac.za</a> or follow @sukonservatorium on Instagram or like the Stellenbosch Konservatorium Facebook page.<br><br></p><p><br></p>
Strategies to reduce fires in informal settlementshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7727Strategies to reduce fires in informal settlementsPatricia Zweig & Robyn Pharoah<p>During Fire Prevention Week (4–10 October) the focus is, among others, on reducing the risk of fires in informal settlements. In opinion pieces for <em>Cape Times</em> and <em>The Conversation</em> respectively, Patricia Zweig and Dr Robyn Pharoah from the <span lang="AF">Research Alliance for Disaster and Risk Reduction (RADAR)</span> highlight some of the ways in which this can be achieved. Click on the links below to read the articles.<br></p><ul><li>Patricia Zweig (<a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/Zweig_CapeTimes1_2020.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="">Cape Times</strong></a>)<br></li><li>Robyn Pharoah (<a href="https://theconversation.com/smoke-alarms-can-save-lives-in-informal-settlements-if-the-design-is-right-146225"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="">The Conversation</strong></a>)</li></ul><p><br></p>