"Chief Joyi railed against the white man, who he believed had deliberately sundered the Xhosa tribe, dividing brother from brother. The white man had told the Thembus that their true chief was the great white queen across the ocean and that they were her subjects. But the white queen brought nothing but misery and perfidy to the black people, and if she was a chief she was an evil chief. Chief Joyi’s war stories and his indictment of the British made me feel angry and cheated, as though I had already been robbed of my own birthright.
Chief Joyi said that the African people lived in relative peace until the coming of the abelungu, the white people, who arrived from across the sea with fire-breathing weapons. Once, he said, the Thembu, the Mpondo, the Xhosa, and the Zulu were all children of one father, and lived as brothers. The white man shattered the abantu, the fellowship, of the various tribes. The white man was hungry and greedy for land, and the black man shared the land with him as they shared the air and water; land was not for man to possess. But the white man took the land as you might seize another man’s horse.
I did not yet know that the real history of our country was not to be found in standard British textbooks, which claimed South Africa began with the landing of Jan Van Riebeeck at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. It was from Chief Joyi that I began to discover that the history of the Bantu-speaking peoples began far to the north, in a country of lakes and green plains and valleys, and that slowly over the millennia we made our way down to the very tip of this great continent."

Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

… sounds super familiar.

(via adailyriot)

(via karnythia)

nezua:

azaadiart:

NOW YOU HAVE TOUCHED
THE WOMYN YOU HAVE 
STRUCK A ROCK 
YOU HAVE DISLODGED A BOULDER
YOU WILL BE CRUSHED
versatilequeen:

You Have Struck a Rock
Medu Art Ensemble, Gaborone and Botswana  1981

Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now
“This poster was created for Women’s Day, a South African national holiday commemorating a 1956 demonstration in Pretoria. Thousands of women gathered to protest the apartheid government’s pass laws, which required black South Africans to carry documents authorizing their presence in racially restricted areas. The text is based on a song that became the anthem of women’s struggle against apartheid and that today represents the strength of South African women in general. The poster was printed by Medu Art Ensemble, a collective of South African exiles and activists formed in 1978 in Gaborone, Botswana, eight miles across the South African border.”


that’s beautiful and powerful, even the rhythm of it.

nezua:

azaadiart:

NOW YOU HAVE TOUCHED

THE WOMYN YOU HAVE 

STRUCK A ROCK 

YOU HAVE DISLODGED A BOULDER

YOU WILL BE CRUSHED

versatilequeen:

You Have Struck a Rock

Medu Art Ensemble, Gaborone and Botswana  1981


Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now

“This poster was created for Women’s Day, a South African national holiday commemorating a 1956 demonstration in Pretoria. Thousands of women gathered to protest the apartheid government’s pass laws, which required black South Africans to carry documents authorizing their presence in racially restricted areas. The text is based on a song that became the anthem of women’s struggle against apartheid and that today represents the strength of South African women in general. The poster was printed by Medu Art Ensemble, a collective of South African exiles and activists formed in 1978 in Gaborone, Botswana, eight miles across the South African border.”

that’s beautiful and powerful, even the rhythm of it.

(via downlo)

eternallybeautifullyblack:

This is Thandi Sibisi.  She is the 25-year-old daughter of South African cattle farmers.  At some point she realized that in an African nation, paradoxically African art and artists were grossly under-represented by South African art market.  So, she just opened her own art gallery, and in the process, became the first black woman to own an art gallery in South Africa.  
That’s beautiful.  That’s fly.  That’s beautifully fly.
Original story from Fader; hat tip to Live Unchained for bringing it to my attention.

eternallybeautifullyblack:

This is Thandi Sibisi.  She is the 25-year-old daughter of South African cattle farmers.  At some point she realized that in an African nation, paradoxically African art and artists were grossly under-represented by South African art market.  So, she just opened her own art gallery, and in the process, became the first black woman to own an art gallery in South Africa.  

That’s beautiful.  That’s fly.  That’s beautifully fly.

Original story from Fader; hat tip to Live Unchained for bringing it to my attention.

(via imbobswaget-deactivated20131106)

iamnotpablo:

“If we had answers to the fundamental problem of unemployed youth in this country, then we would have solved it.” 
– Trevor Manuel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pervasive unemployment has been a feature of the South African economy since the 60s, peaking in the 70s and continuing to rise in the 80 and 90s. A worrying corollary to this structural unemployment – with its excruciatingly lengthy durations (often up to 3 years) – is the building up of human capital deficiencies among the affected, and the inheritance of these by adolescents still in the education system. A South African Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper (2008) has already warned that, South African youth “are uncertain about the value of their abilities and schooling as well as the timing of job offers and earnings after studies.” South Africa is a developing country. There’s plenty of work to be done, and enough idle hands to do it; but herein lies the rub: how to seize these idle hands in their youth, and train them up in the way they should go - that is, familiarise them with the world of work - so that when they are old, they will not depart from it.
 
 
We examine, in the following pages, the vicissitudes of growing up in post-apartheid South Africa, with particular focus on that crucial transition from adolescence into adulthood; that very uncertain period when the young person has to leave school and enter the world of work. Of particular concern to us is why this actually never happens for a vast number of young South Africans. What, we may ask, accounts for the racial disparities that are so prevalent when it comes to early socialisation into the world of work among South African youth? Here’s an alarming statistic: between the ages of sixteen and seventeen, over 50% of White boys and girls are already in the “work & school” category; for Black boys, on the other hand, the rate of work at the same age group is 7%, and for black girls it’s 1%. We try to account for this, and other similarly shocking statistics, by examining some of the dis-contiguities of Black life in the house that Apartheid built; the Black disadvantage, and its corollary in White disadvantage that became a systemic feature of the South African social economy; the “facts on the ground” that were created, as it were, over the centuries that this terrain became a country of “the Anglosphere” or what Guy Mhone described as an “enclave economy” (Lam, et al, 2009:10; Bond, 2007). 
 
 
This sort of “structural analysis”, then, would account for the racial differences in rates of work among South African youth by looking at the “extreme spatial segregation” that has, throughout our history, placed White youth in “closer geographic proximity to jobs” while placing Black youth on the periphery – adolescents tend to be mostly employed as supplemental part-time workers in retail sales & clerical jobs, and the low wage service sector, in other words, they tend to be employed in city jobs. Jeremy Cronin makes an unrelated but interestingly pertinent point in John Saul’s Empty Chalice, an acerbic response to A Poisoned Chalice: Liberation, ANC-style by John Saul published in Amandla! Magazine:
 
 
Even at the height of popular militant action through the 1970s and 80s, the wave upon wave of uprisings were only ever quasi-insurrectionary in character. Then, as now, the South African working class and urban poor, largely confined to peripheral dormitory townships, are not in relatively easy marching distance of a Winter Palace. (I don’t have current statistics for St Petersburg, but the average working class commute in today’s Moscow is 7km, for instance; compare this to Tshwane’s 25 km!). 
Persisting apartheid-style, dormitory townships at distance from work, amenities, resources and other loci of power continue to ensure the reproduction of a displaced and disadvantaged working class.
 
The comparative disadvantage of black youth is thus written in the very geography of the country (Lam, et al., 2009:11).
 
 
There was essentially a large bureaucracy in South Africa that, for its purposes, built Black life to be “discontiguous”, and locked into the lowest strata in an economic caste system. “Discontiguous”, as opposed to cohesive, in that the Black family is often disjoined and apportioned, not only in geographic space but also in economic space. At any given time the black family will inhabit and survive within what Mhone called the “tri-modal economic structures” of an “enclave economy”: the formal economy (Mom works in the city), a rural peasant economy (daughter lives with grandparents in the former rural homelands) and an informal economy that mediates between the two (unemployed family members with “hidden employment” in the same household). This, of course, follows from the policy of removing and relocating Blacks to rural homelands and giving them temporary migrant work contracts; and also to dormitory townships with formal “tenuous but highly valued formal rights to permanent residence and work.” This is the world that Apartheid built for the black child to grow up in.
 
 
The phenomenon of black disadvantage in South Africa – particularly the “deficiency in educational accumulation” among Black youth, the grade repetition which is “a fundamental feature of African schooling (SALDRU 2008)” and other curious social indicators – takes on rather sinister undertones when one notices that other comparable social economies in Africa which are significantly poorer than South Africa, have significantly better outcomes. Examining the history of South Africa’s history of social and political “caste formation”, a 1997 Social Indicators Research study (Lawrence Schlemmer and Valerie Møller) points out that “South Africa’s GNP is some 38% of that of the whole of sub-Saharan Africa” and it has “the continent’s largest harbours and a massive advantage over the entire continent in terms of ‘R & D’ and technical capacity”, nevertheless, it lags “behind its overall economic indices in terms of human development.” South Africa is an “upper-middle income” economy with the social indicators of a “low income” economy. What the country’s economic indices would predict in terms of human development, that is, the picture we ought to see following the country’s GDP per capita and expenditure on education, is at odds with what the social indicators tell us about such things as life expectancy, infant mortality and education.
 
 
In the case of education, which is our main concern, about 20% of South Africa’s overall budget and 6-7% of GDP was spent on education in the decade leading up to 2007. The outcome was that Black children, who already made up “83% of the matric-aged cohort” and “78% of matric passes in public schools”, accounted for only 59% of university exemptions, only 34% passed Maths at the Higher Grade with “A, B or C aggregate (i.e. those who can potentially continue onto university further studies in engineering, medicine, science or even commerce)”, and only 14% got an A aggregate. This mismatch between economic indices and social indicators betrays a highly inegalitarian society, unequal in condition and opportunity and income; an economic caste system that has persisted since the formation of South Africa as a capital-intensive economy, with vast reserves of unskilled Black labour at the bottom, and an “expatriate investing or managerial elite” at the apex. South Africans performing unskilled labour
live in conditions comparable to those of much poorer African countries; also the “social and geopolitical segregation” that would later be the template for Apartheid policies, ensured the ongoing reproduction of these terrible conditions and kept development out and afar as an unrealistic notion.
 
 
Looking through figures from the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), a longitudinal and cross-sectional study using Capetonian youths as a representative subset of all South Africans (Cape Town has the largest Black, White and Coloured populations), we see a pattern: half of the black adolescent boys in black schools are two or more grades behind the appropriate grades for their age, (giving 88% of White boys a two-grade head-start); many simply drop out (and my suspicion here is that schools simply fail to stimulate them); and half of those who do finish high school take up to three years to find a job. It seems South Africa has a “social economy” which reproduces idle young men and women with very little knowledge of how to enter the world of work. Or what to do in the world of work. Other studies with differing foci – some on the psychology of idleness (Makiwane and Kwizera, 2009), others on the “psychological sequelae” of chronic exposure to political stress of the sort that has prevailed in South Africa (Slone, et al, 2000) – do supplement the above picture: they place the problem of youth unemployment, a problem that more acutely affects Black youth, within the overarching context of historical Black disadvantage. They understand “the unemployment blues” as a real psychological malady, where the idle person slowly witnesses their usefulness, their talents and their potential wither until they are fully alienated from the world of work, and are finally unemployable. This alienation entails adapting to a mode of being that has no time-structure, is populated by mainly superficial social contacts and many distractions to cope with boredom. The habits of idleness are thus normalised and the idle begin to participate in their own deprivation.
 
 
We’ve alluded to the structure of the South African economy - Mbeki popularly described it as, in fact, “two economies” - with its capital intensivity alongside a reliance on cheap and unskilled African labour, its “enclavity”, its “social and geopolitical segregation”, its development into a caste system that reproduces “a displaced and disadvantaged working class” with limited residential mobility. It began as an economy of mainly extractive industries that relied on “hewers of wood and drawers of water” to do the unpleasant labour (and then go away to distant townships and rural homelands after work); and an appropriate education system was legislated to reproduce this archetype. This model has since the 1960s been producing (to borrow Marxian imagery) a permanent “reserve army of the unemployed” which has grown into a menacing “lumpenproletariat” throughout the country.
 The mismatch between economic indices and social indicators - specifically expenditure on education and the sort of person the South African education system produces - suggests that if these conditions are to desist then we need to have a conversation around an overhaul of the entire economy, and its rebuilding in accordance with the principles of economic and social justice. With the Soviet Union long gone the concepts of “nationalisation” and “expropriation” and other redistributive measures can now enter public discourse without their easy dismissal as part of the tentacles of the Red Menace or some Kremlin machinations. The South African economy and its education systems continue to produce a vast under skilled and idle caste of young men and women. What sort of economy ought we to create so that all these idle hands would be put to use lest they grow into a permanent criminal underclass?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
REFERENCES:
 
 
Michelle Slone, Debra Kaminer, Kevin Durrheim, The Contribution of Political Life Events to Psychological Distress among South African Adolescents, Political Psychology, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Sep., 2000), pp. 465-487
 
Dr. Rènette du Toit, Unemployed Youth in South Africa: The Distressed Generation?, Minnesota International Counseling Institute (MICI), 27 July – 1 August 2003., pp. 1-24
 
Lam, D., Leibbrandt, M. and Mlatsheni, C., Human Capital, Job Search, and Unemployment among 
Young People in South Africa, (2009), SALDRU Preliminary Draft, University of Cape Town
 
Lam, D., Leibbrandt, M. and Mlatsheni, C., Education and Youth Unemployment in South Africa, (2008)., SALDRU Working Paper Number 22, University of Cape Town
 
Monde Makiwane and Stella Kwizera, Youth and Well-Being: A South African Case Study, Social Indicators Research, Vol. 91, No. 2 (Apr., 2009), pp. 223-242
Vallerie Møller, The unemployment blues: psychological effects of unemployment on the individual, (1992). CSDS Working Paper, 6.
Burns. J, Edwards. L and Pauw. K (2010) Wage Subsidies to Combat Unemployment and Poverty:
Assessing South Africa’s Options. A Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper Number 45. Cape Town: SALDRU, University of Cape Town
 
Lawrence Schlemmer and Valerie Møller, The Shape of South African Society and Its Challenges, Social Indicators Research, Vol. 41, No. 1/3, Quality of Life in South Africa (Jul.,1997), pp. 15-50
 
VALERIE MØLLER, QUALITY OF LIFE IN SOUTH AFRICA — THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF DEMOCRACY Social Indicators Research, Vol. 81, No. 2 (April 2007), pp. 181, 183-201
 
Patrick Bond, Primitive Accumulation, Enclavity, Rural Marginalisation & Articulation, Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 34, No. 111, Debates on the Left in Southern Africa (Mar., 2007), pp. 29-37

iamnotpablo:

“If we had answers to the fundamental problem of unemployed youth in this country, then we would have solved it.”

– Trevor Manuel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pervasive unemployment has been a feature of the South African economy since the 60s, peaking in the 70s and continuing to rise in the 80 and 90s. A worrying corollary to this structural unemployment – with its excruciatingly lengthy durations (often up to 3 years) – is the building up of human capital deficiencies among the affected, and the inheritance of these by adolescents still in the education system. A South African Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper (2008) has already warned that, South African youth “are uncertain about the value of their abilities and schooling as well as the timing of job offers and earnings after studies.” South Africa is a developing country. There’s plenty of work to be done, and enough idle hands to do it; but herein lies the rub: how to seize these idle hands in their youth, and train them up in the way they should go - that is, familiarise them with the world of work - so that when they are old, they will not depart from it.

 

 

We examine, in the following pages, the vicissitudes of growing up in post-apartheid South Africa, with particular focus on that crucial transition from adolescence into adulthood; that very uncertain period when the young person has to leave school and enter the world of work. Of particular concern to us is why this actually never happens for a vast number of young South Africans. What, we may ask, accounts for the racial disparities that are so prevalent when it comes to early socialisation into the world of work among South African youth? Here’s an alarming statistic: between the ages of sixteen and seventeen, over 50% of White boys and girls are already in the “work & school” category; for Black boys, on the other hand, the rate of work at the same age group is 7%, and for black girls it’s 1%. We try to account for this, and other similarly shocking statistics, by examining some of the dis-contiguities of Black life in the house that Apartheid built; the Black disadvantage, and its corollary in White disadvantage that became a systemic feature of the South African social economy; the “facts on the ground” that were created, as it were, over the centuries that this terrain became a country of “the Anglosphere” or what Guy Mhone described as an “enclave economy” (Lam, et al, 2009:10; Bond, 2007).

 

 

This sort of “structural analysis”, then, would account for the racial differences in rates of work among South African youth by looking at the “extreme spatial segregation” that has, throughout our history, placed White youth in “closer geographic proximity to jobs” while placing Black youth on the periphery – adolescents tend to be mostly employed as supplemental part-time workers in retail sales & clerical jobs, and the low wage service sector, in other words, they tend to be employed in city jobs. Jeremy Cronin makes an unrelated but interestingly pertinent point in John Saul’s Empty Chalice, an acerbic response to A Poisoned Chalice: Liberation, ANC-style by John Saul published in Amandla! Magazine:

 

 

Even at the height of popular militant action through the 1970s and 80s, the wave upon wave of uprisings were only ever quasi-insurrectionary in character. Then, as now, the South African working class and urban poor, largely confined to peripheral dormitory townships, are not in relatively easy marching distance of a Winter Palace. (I don’t have current statistics for St Petersburg, but the average working class commute in today’s Moscow is 7km, for instance; compare this to Tshwane’s 25 km!).

Persisting apartheid-style, dormitory townships at distance from work, amenities, resources and other loci of power continue to ensure the reproduction of a displaced and disadvantaged working class.

 

The comparative disadvantage of black youth is thus written in the very geography of the country (Lam, et al., 2009:11).

 

 

There was essentially a large bureaucracy in South Africa that, for its purposes, built Black life to be “discontiguous”, and locked into the lowest strata in an economic caste system. “Discontiguous”, as opposed to cohesive, in that the Black family is often disjoined and apportioned, not only in geographic space but also in economic space. At any given time the black family will inhabit and survive within what Mhone called the “tri-modal economic structures” of an “enclave economy”: the formal economy (Mom works in the city), a rural peasant economy (daughter lives with grandparents in the former rural homelands) and an informal economy that mediates between the two (unemployed family members with “hidden employment” in the same household). This, of course, follows from the policy of removing and relocating Blacks to rural homelands and giving them temporary migrant work contracts; and also to dormitory townships with formal “tenuous but highly valued formal rights to permanent residence and work.” This is the world that Apartheid built for the black child to grow up in.

 

 

The phenomenon of black disadvantage in South Africa – particularly the “deficiency in educational accumulation” among Black youth, the grade repetition which is “a fundamental feature of African schooling (SALDRU 2008)” and other curious social indicators – takes on rather sinister undertones when one notices that other comparable social economies in Africa which are significantly poorer than South Africa, have significantly better outcomes. Examining the history of South Africa’s history of social and political “caste formation”, a 1997 Social Indicators Research study (Lawrence Schlemmer and Valerie Møller) points out that “South Africa’s GNP is some 38% of that of the whole of sub-Saharan Africa” and it has “the continent’s largest harbours and a massive advantage over the entire continent in terms of ‘R & D’ and technical capacity”, nevertheless, it lags “behind its overall economic indices in terms of human development.” South Africa is an “upper-middle income” economy with the social indicators of a “low income” economy. What the country’s economic indices would predict in terms of human development, that is, the picture we ought to see following the country’s GDP per capita and expenditure on education, is at odds with what the social indicators tell us about such things as life expectancy, infant mortality and education.

 

 

In the case of education, which is our main concern, about 20% of South Africa’s overall budget and 6-7% of GDP was spent on education in the decade leading up to 2007. The outcome was that Black children, who already made up “83% of the matric-aged cohort” and “78% of matric passes in public schools”, accounted for only 59% of university exemptions, only 34% passed Maths at the Higher Grade with “A, B or C aggregate (i.e. those who can potentially continue onto university further studies in engineering, medicine, science or even commerce)”, and only 14% got an A aggregate. This mismatch between economic indices and social indicators betrays a highly inegalitarian society, unequal in condition and opportunity and income; an economic caste system that has persisted since the formation of South Africa as a capital-intensive economy, with vast reserves of unskilled Black labour at the bottom, and an “expatriate investing or managerial elite” at the apex. South Africans performing unskilled labour

live in conditions comparable to those of much poorer African countries; also the “social and geopolitical segregation” that would later be the template for Apartheid policies, ensured the ongoing reproduction of these terrible conditions and kept development out and afar as an unrealistic notion.

 

 

Looking through figures from the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), a longitudinal and cross-sectional study using Capetonian youths as a representative subset of all South Africans (Cape Town has the largest Black, White and Coloured populations), we see a pattern: half of the black adolescent boys in black schools are two or more grades behind the appropriate grades for their age, (giving 88% of White boys a two-grade head-start); many simply drop out (and my suspicion here is that schools simply fail to stimulate them); and half of those who do finish high school take up to three years to find a job. It seems South Africa has a “social economy” which reproduces idle young men and women with very little knowledge of how to enter the world of work. Or what to do in the world of work. Other studies with differing foci – some on the psychology of idleness (Makiwane and Kwizera, 2009), others on the “psychological sequelae” of chronic exposure to political stress of the sort that has prevailed in South Africa (Slone, et al, 2000) – do supplement the above picture: they place the problem of youth unemployment, a problem that more acutely affects Black youth, within the overarching context of historical Black disadvantage. They understand “the unemployment blues” as a real psychological malady, where the idle person slowly witnesses their usefulness, their talents and their potential wither until they are fully alienated from the world of work, and are finally unemployable. This alienation entails adapting to a mode of being that has no time-structure, is populated by mainly superficial social contacts and many distractions to cope with boredom. The habits of idleness are thus normalised and the idle begin to participate in their own deprivation.

 

 

We’ve alluded to the structure of the South African economy - Mbeki popularly described it as, in fact, “two economies” - with its capital intensivity alongside a reliance on cheap and unskilled African labour, its “enclavity”, its “social and geopolitical segregation”, its development into a caste system that reproduces “a displaced and disadvantaged working class” with limited residential mobility. It began as an economy of mainly extractive industries that relied on “hewers of wood and drawers of water” to do the unpleasant labour (and then go away to distant townships and rural homelands after work); and an appropriate education system was legislated to reproduce this archetype. This model has since the 1960s been producing (to borrow Marxian imagery) a permanent “reserve army of the unemployed” which has grown into a menacing “lumpenproletariat” throughout the country.


The mismatch between economic indices and social indicators - specifically expenditure on education and the sort of person the South African education system produces - suggests that if these conditions are to desist then we need to have a conversation around an overhaul of the entire economy, and its rebuilding in accordance with the principles of economic and social justice. With the Soviet Union long gone the concepts of “nationalisation” and “expropriation” and other redistributive measures can now enter public discourse without their easy dismissal as part of the tentacles of the Red Menace or some Kremlin machinations. The South African economy and its education systems continue to produce a vast under skilled and idle caste of young men and women. What sort of economy ought we to create so that all these idle hands would be put to use lest they grow into a permanent criminal underclass?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

 

Michelle Slone, Debra Kaminer, Kevin Durrheim, The Contribution of Political Life Events to Psychological Distress among South African Adolescents, Political Psychology, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Sep., 2000), pp. 465-487

 

Dr. Rènette du Toit, Unemployed Youth in South Africa: The Distressed Generation?, Minnesota International Counseling Institute (MICI), 27 July – 1 August 2003., pp. 1-24

 

Lam, D., Leibbrandt, M. and Mlatsheni, C., Human Capital, Job Search, and Unemployment among

Young People in South Africa, (2009), SALDRU Preliminary Draft, University of Cape Town

 

Lam, D., Leibbrandt, M. and Mlatsheni, C., Education and Youth Unemployment in South Africa, (2008)., SALDRU Working Paper Number 22, University of Cape Town

 

Monde Makiwane and Stella Kwizera, Youth and Well-Being: A South African Case Study, Social Indicators Research, Vol. 91, No. 2 (Apr., 2009), pp. 223-242

Vallerie Møller, The unemployment blues: psychological effects of unemployment on the individual, (1992). CSDS Working Paper, 6.

Burns. J, Edwards. L and Pauw. K (2010) Wage Subsidies to Combat Unemployment and Poverty:

Assessing South Africa’s Options. A Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper Number 45. Cape Town: SALDRU, University of Cape Town

 

Lawrence Schlemmer and Valerie Møller, The Shape of South African Society and Its Challenges, Social Indicators Research, Vol. 41, No. 1/3, Quality of Life in South Africa (Jul.,1997), pp. 15-50

 

VALERIE MØLLER, QUALITY OF LIFE IN SOUTH AFRICA — THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF DEMOCRACY Social Indicators Research, Vol. 81, No. 2 (April 2007), pp. 181, 183-201

 

Patrick Bond, Primitive Accumulation, Enclavity, Rural Marginalisation & Articulation, Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 34, No. 111, Debates on the Left in Southern Africa (Mar., 2007), pp. 29-37

dynamicafrica:

Happy 94th birthday to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, a living hero of our times and a man whose life has been dedicated to the militant struggle and activism against oppression not only in his home country of South Africa, but throughout the world.

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18th, 1918, in the village of Mvezo, near Mthatha in the Transkei, South Africa.

Throughout the brutal racist Apartheid regime in South Africa, Mandela actively fought against the successive governments throughout this period. 

In 1952, he was a prominent leader in the ANC’s (African National Congress) Defiance Campaign which involved a plan of national action to actively protest the unjust laws implemented by the white-ruling Apartheid system. As a result, Mandela and 8, 500 people were imprisoned. In 1955, he was part of The Congress of the People - a meeting held in Kliptown, Soweto that consisted of various anti-Apartheid organizations, that drafted The Freedom Charter.

Mandela had obtained a law degree from the University of Witswaterstrand and during this time, together with friend and fellow activist Oliver Tambo, provided free or low-cost legal counsel to black people who had been denied access to such information as a result of the highly oppressive racist system.

Despite his nonviolent approach, in 1956 Nelson Mandela and 150 others were arrested and charged with treason by the state government in what is known as the Treason Trial of 1956. The trial lasted until 1961 when all defendants were found non-guilty. The arrested consisted of 105 Africans, 21 Indians, 23 whites and 7 colored leaders of various anti-Apartheid organizations but were segregated racially whilst in jail. By the end of the trial, the 150 initially charged was whittled down to 30. Mandela was a part of the final 30 defendants.

Between 1963-1964, another trial took place in which ten members of the ANC were tried for 221 acts of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the Apartheid government. Mandela was once again arrested, along with notable ANC leaders and anti-Apartheid activists Walter Sisulu, Goven Mbeki (father of former President Thabo Mbeki), Lionel Bernstein and Denis Goldberg. This trial, known as the Rivonia Trial, resulted in eight of the accused sentenced to life in prison, two acquittals, with the final two having escaped from prison.

Nelson Mandela would spend 25 years and eight months in prison as a result the Rivonia tria, 18 in the infamous Robben Island jail, until his release in 1990.

South Africa’s first multi-racial democratic elections were held on the 17th of April, 1994 and as leader of the ANC, Nelson Mandela was elected as South Africa’s first black President, as well as the oldest elected President (he was 75 at the time).

Once his term came to an end in 1999, Mandela officially retired from politics.

Mandela has been married three times (he is currently married to Graca Machel), has fathered six children, has twenty grandchildren, and a growing number of great-grandchildren.

We wish you well, Madiba!

(via racialicious)

fyeahafrica:

My love affair with books - Kopano Matlwa

The EU Literary Award-winning Kopano Matlwa is one of South Africa’s most vibrant young writers. A medical graduate, Kopano is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Coconut. She is a founding member and chairperson of Waiting Room Education by Medical Students, a non-profit organisation run by students and is a 2010 Rhodes Scholar.

(Source: )

Alice Walker's 'rejection letter' to Israeli publisher

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

June 9, 2012
Dear Publishers at Yediot Books,

Thank you so much for wishing to publish my novel THE COLOR PURPLE.  It isn’t possible for me to permit this at this time for the following reason:  As you may know, last Fall in South Africa the Russell Tribunal on Palestine met and determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.  The testimony we heard, both from Israelis and Palestinians (I was a jurist) was devastating.  I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse.  Indeed, many South Africans who attended, including Desmond Tutu, felt the Israeli version of these crimes is worse even than  what they suffered under the white supremacist regimes that dominated South Africa for so long.

It is my hope that the non-violent BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, of which I am part, will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.

In that regard, I offer an earlier example of THE COLOR PURPLE’s engagement in the world-wide effort to rid humanity of its self-destructive habit of dehumanizing whole populations.  When the film of The Color Purple was finished, and all of us who made it decided we loved it, Steven Spielberg, the director, was faced with the decision of whether it should be permitted to travel to and be offered to the South African public.  I lobbied against this idea because, as with Israel today, there was a civil society movement of BDS aimed at changing South Africa’s apartheid policies and, in fact, transforming the government.

It was not a particularly difficult position to hold on my part:  I believe deeply in non-violent methods of social change though they sometimes seem to take forever, but I did regret not being able to share our movie, immediately, with (for instance) Winnie and Nelson Mandela and their children, and also with the widow and children of the brutally murdered, while in police custody, Steven Biko, the visionary journalist and defender of African integrity and freedom.

We decided to wait.  How happy we all were when the apartheid regime was dismantled and Nelson Mandela became the first president of color of South Africa.  

Only then did we send our beautiful movie!  And to this day, when I am in South Africa, I can hold my head high and nothing obstructs the love that flows between me and the people of that country.

Which is to say, I would so like knowing my books are read by the people of your country, especially by the young, and by  the brave Israeli activists (Jewish and Palestinian) for justice and peace I have had the joy of working beside.  I am hopeful that one day, maybe soon, this may happen.  But now is not the time.

We must continue to work on the issue, and to wait.

In faith that a just future can be fashioned from small acts,
Alice Walker

"Great Britain Plays Apartheid Anthem Before Field Hockey Game"

knowledgeequalsblackpower:

South Africa players stand as their anthem is played before the Investec London Cup pool game against Great Britain in the Investec London Cup at the Quintin Hogg Memorial Ground, London, Tuesday June 5, 2012. (AP Photo / Ady Kerry)

British field hockey officials have issued a “full and unreserved apology” to the South African women’s team for playing an apartheid-era version of the national anthem before a London Cup match on Tuesday.

A version of “Die Stem,” the old anthem of a divided South Africa, was played before the team upset fourth-ranked Great Britain in their opening match of the tournament.

“As far as I’m concerned, that was the full version of ‘Die Stem,’ from start to finish,” she said, according to Sport 24. ”I was so shocked I couldn’t even watch the rest [of the game].”

Black girls faces are priceless. SA has had a new anthem since 1994.. almost 20 years ago! Why would the Brits even still have the old anthem to play?

Britain, forgetting that the world has moved on? INCONCEIVABLE!

fyeahafrica:

The African National Congress Women’s League is the women’s wing of the African National Congress (ANC).

It was founded in 1931 as the Bantu Women’s League, with Charlotte Maxeke as its first president. It was integrated into the ANC during the period from 1943, when women were first admitted as members of the ANC, to 1948, when the ANCWL was officially founded.

It participated with the Federation of South African Women in protests against the apartheid-era government, such as the 1952 Defiance Campaign and the passbook protests of 9 August 1956. In 1956, Lilian Ngoyi became the first elected female member of the ANC National Executive Committee.

Among the activists and politicians who were allied with the ANC during the apartheid years are:

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Pictured (l-r): Charlotte Maxeke, Lilian Ngoyi & Helen Joseph

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"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities. And I dare not linger, for my long walk has just begun."

Nelson Mandela (via bheld)

(via roropcoldchain)

fyeahafrica:

Entrance to an Ndebele house in South Africa

fyeahafrica:

Entrance to an Ndebele house in South Africa

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"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities. And I dare not linger, for my long walk has just begun."

Nelson Mandela (via bheld)

fyeahafrica:

Portraits from the series ‘Life After’ by Araminta de Clermont

This series is an exploration into the tattoos, and lives, of members of South Africa’s ‘Numbers’ prison gangs (the 26s, 27s & 28s) after having been released back into society, normally after many years, if not decades, of imprisonment.

Tattooing has always been forbidden in the South African prison system, with severe penalties, but the drive to create these marks is so strong that tattooing equipment will be created somehow.Pigment will come from grinding up rubbish bins, industrial rubber washers, batteries, or bricks. This will then be mixed with saliva, and will be pushed under the skin with nails pulled out of furniture, or sewing needles.

Tattoos may convey rankings within the hierarchy of the Number, may be testimonies to a crime committed, or may sometimes be a rather more personal statement: like a message of blame, threat, or regret, or a tribute to a loved one. A “Numbers” gangster can read another’s life story simply through the markings he has.

The gallows symbol signifies that the bearer faced the death sentence, before it was outlawed. Many of the most highly tattooed men that I photographed, had been given the death sentence, before Mandela’s reprieve, and thus they had never believed they would be released, never imagining “a life after’.

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(Source: , via inactivegrokeseverywhere)

fyeahafrica:

The last surviving son of South Africa political hero and cultural icon Nelson Mandela and his first wife Evelyn Ntoko Mase, Makgatho Mandela passed away from complications due to HIV/AIDS in January, 2005.
When Nelson Mandela announced the death of his son, he issued a statement saying: 

“Let us give publicity to HIV/AIDS and not hide it, because the only way to make it appear like a normal illness like TB, like cancer, is always to come out and say somebody has died because of HIV/AIDS, and people will stop regarding it as something extraordinary.”

fyeahafrica:

The last surviving son of South Africa political hero and cultural icon Nelson Mandela and his first wife Evelyn Ntoko Mase, Makgatho Mandela passed away from complications due to HIV/AIDS in January, 2005.

When Nelson Mandela announced the death of his son, he issued a statement saying: 

Let us give publicity to HIV/AIDS and not hide it, because the only way to make it appear like a normal illness like TB, like cancer, is always to come out and say somebody has died because of HIV/AIDS, and people will stop regarding it as something extraordinary.”

(Source: )

fyeahafrica:

Louis Hendrik Potgieter, South African musican and member of the German pop band Dschinghis Khan, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1993.

fyeahafrica:

Louis Hendrik Potgieter, South African musican and member of the German pop band Dschinghis Khan, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1993.

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