The Fall Before the Rise in South African Higher Education
Over the last two years, a new set of student movements has situated the South African university as the site of a contentious conflict over higher education’s role in the perpetuation of racial and economic inequality. As the battle has shifted from public representation to economic access in the transformation of Rhodes Must Fall into Fees Must Fall, black South African students have taken on the deeply entrenched systemic and institutionalized inequality of South Africa’s higher education system. But beyond education, the struggle has called on South Africans to examine the “unfinished business of apartheid,” as one scholar has described it. BuzzFeed News investigates the emergence of the new student movements in South Africa and the stories of those driving its evolution.
“Poor, Gifted, and Black” (BuzzFeed News | May 2017)
“The faces behind South Africa’s Fees Must Fall movement” (CNN | October 2016)
(Image Credit: Alon Skuy/The Times/Getty Images, via BuzzFeed News)
The Entrenched Legacy of Housing Segregation in Cape Town
Like many global metropolises, Cape Town faces conflicts over how to secure housing rights for low- and middle-income households inflected by histories of racist social engineering. Cape Town’s situation is complicated by the legacy of housing apartheid in South Africa, which continues to render historically white-only neighborhoods financially inaccessible for many black households and threatens to uproot others as the high tide of gentrification approaches. A number of media outlets have recently examined the persistence of housing segregation in the city and political and guerrilla efforts to promote inclusive urban planning and secure affordable housing rights for black Capetonians.
“‘End spatial apartheid’: why housing activists are occupying Cape Town” (The Guardian | May 2017)
“Profile: How gentrification is creating a new apartheid in South Africa” (The National | May 2017)
“We must end Cape Town’s housing ‘apartheid’ – think-tank” (The Thomson Reuters Foundation | May 2017)
(Image Credit: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp, via The Guardian)
South African woman slapped with $10,000 fine for racist remarks
- The woman faced charges from the African National Congress (ANC) for comparing black South Africans to “wild monkeys” in a Facebook rant about beaches in the country.
- The Umizito Equality Court ordered her to pay the 150,000-rand fine to charity within 60 days.
- South African hate speech laws stem from constitutionally guaranteed protections against the incitement of hatred and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000.
“South African woman fined $10,000 for racist comments” (Reuters)
“Racism: Penny Sparrow fined R150K, community service for Theunissen” (News24)
“SA’s laws are set against hate speech” (Times Live, January 2016)
The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000
The Festering Racial Wounds of South Africa
As university protests and social media rows have continued to erupt across the South African landscape, the legacy of colonialism and apartheid has continued to create sharp tensions among black and white South Africans. Black South Africans continue to trail their white counterparts significantly across several key indicators—including employment, executive representation, and living standards—while white South Africans have lashed out over being held accountable for previous generations’ atrocities. The New York Times examines some of the recent clashes.
“Raw Tensions Over Race Fester in South Africa” (The New York Times)