City of Cape Town to tackle apartheid spatial planning

After months of pressure from housing activists, the City of Cape Town has identified 10 sites that will be developed in and near the Cape Town city centre for affordable housing. Brett Herron, the mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, said on Tuesday the City had selected these sites as part of an effort to reverse apartheid spatial planning in Cape Town. Apartheid spatial planning, he said, is characterised by people being forced to live far from economic opportunities. “We must acknowledge that, to…

Court rules that public schools cannot promote one religion over others

Six schools that believed that a case by Ogod (Organisasie vir Godsdienste-Onderrig en Demokrasie) — seeking a court order to declare it unconstitutional for any public school to promote one religion — would promote atheism in schools, have lost in their bid to convince a court otherwise. The South Gauteng High Court ruled on Wednesday that a public school may not adopt one single religion to the exclusion of others. Nongovernmental organisation Ogod asked the court to interdict six schools from participating in Christian…

Two Batswana women wrote a feminist dictionary and it’s amazing

For two young Batswana feminists, the academic terminology that has been popularised in online-driven social activism is useful but limited. When they couldn’t articulate what feminism is in their mother tongue, they decided to translate these so-called ‘woke’ terms into Setswana. There is nothing new about people constantly berating black feminists and telling them that their feminisms are unAfrican. This is mainly because of some belief that feminist ideology is Western. But a little rummaging through history shows us that…

Student leader Bonginkosi Khanyile aces studies while in jail

He sat in his prison cell in yellow “detainee remand” pants and shirt. The prison warders didn’t use his name; they simply said “prisoner”. But they watched this curious-looking young man, with his academic books scattered across the floor. The other inmates have no books – some play football or smoke dagga to pass the time – but Bonginkosi Khanyile (26) was there in his quiet cell, reading. Khanyile was taken into police custody during the #FeesMustFall protests last year. He was a student leader in the Economic Freedom…

It’s time to take a stand against your own, Mmusi

Nothing good came out of colonialism. It was thoroughly evil. Nothing good came out of apartheid. It was thoroughly wicked. Anyone who tries to qualify these histories of evil is less committed to truth than they are brazen about revealing their bigotry. The logic of those who imagine colonialism was mostly but not wholly evil runs as follows: Sure, colonialism involved the subjugation of people but that subjugation resulted in goodies such as an independent judiciary, transport infrastructure and piped water. This logic is…

Why are we shocked by what we already know about Helen Zille?

The late great African-American poet, Maya Angelou, said: “When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them.” Has South Africa simply refused to believe Western Cape Premier Helen Zille when she tells us who she is and what she thinks? On Thursday morning, the Twittersphere was set ablaze when Zille published a number of tweets which seemingly implied that colonialism had been good for South Africa. Zille tweeted: “Would we have had a transition into specialised healthcare and medication without colonial…

Ministers kill ‘done but unsigned’ emergency grants deal

A high-powered task team of cabinet ministers has thrown out the deal negotiated between the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) and outsourced provider Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) which was supposed to guarantee the payment of social grants come April 1. After three days of negotiations earlier this month, Sassa and CPS had agreed to a two-year, fixed-price contract, new papers before the Constitutional Court show. But last week a committee headed by minister in the presidency Jeff Radebe “decided that the current…

Three years on and no compensation for Limpopo family whose child ‘died like a dog’

Provincial education departments faced legal claims of up to R1.5‑billion over the past financial year, according to their annual reports. Among the claims, some of which have been carried over from previous financial years, is a R3.1‑million damages claim by the family of the six-year-old who died after he fell into a pit latrine at his Limpopo school. Almost three years have passed since Michael Komape died but the Limpopo education department has not yet settled the matter, instead defending itself against the claim. The…

‘Bluetoothing’: The drug myth that fooled a nation?

Experts have warned that the “bluetoothing” drug fad is not as widespread as media reports have led the public to believe — and warn that those who do try it are risking their lives for a fake high. In late January, photos of Pretoria drug users bluetoothing went viral on social media. As part of bluetoothing, heroin or nyaope users inject themselves with the drug. They then draw blood from themselves and pass the syringe to others who hope to get a high. In East Africa the practice is known as flashblood. Connie van Staden…

Coloured stereotype uproar amplifies calls for publisher transformation

The need for black and coloured-owned book publishers has once again risen after Logogog, a Johannesburg-based book company, was accused of publishing a book that is racist towards coloured people over the weekend. 'Coloured culture' as portrayed in the book Rainbow Nation Navigation. I thought it was satire but this is non-fiction pic.twitter.com/TU56DAV1bf — Deirdre (@KlapperOlieAfro) February 11, 2017 The book, titled Rainbow Nation Navigation Guide, created an uproar on Twitter after a series of excerpts from the book…