LitNet contributors voice their opinions about current affairs.
Binding the nation through language diversity: A challenge to a new presidentAcademic research 2018-06-20
"Mr Ramaphosa’s call, 'Send me', has made us perk up our ears. Nothing will ensure the wholehearted co-operation of the Afrikaans-speaking community with his presidency more than offering a fixed, secure and sustainable place for Afrikaans at both school and university level."
The school’s dress codeSkole 2018-06-11
"I forecast that it will take just one steadfast learner, backed by a half-decent legal team, to expose the dress and conduct code for what it is: a discriminatory house of cards that will tumble once subjected to serious scrutiny."
In memoriam: JC (Kay) de Villiers, 7 March 1928 – 5 June 2018In memoriam 2018-06-11
"Out of all the great accomplishments in De Villiers’s career that reached universal proportions, the historical medical aspects of the South African Anglo-Boer War stand out as some of the supreme achievements of this genius and intellectual giant."
The classification of AfrikaansOpinion 2018-05-29
"Following a geographical point of departure, Afrikaans is an African language that originated here and reflects the name of the continent (the only language in Africa having this characteristic)."
DocuFest Africa 2018: a celebration of documentary photographyOnderhoude 2018-05-16
"To me, they [the images] are a portal to a world I can never visit. They are also a recording of our history, a barometer of the time. In some ways, I hoped the show would take the viewers out of their current lives, away from the current political climate, and perhaps remind them of what we overcame as a people."
Water reuse to deal with urban water scarcity – lessons from afar and the Southern African neighbourhoodOpinion 2018-05-10
"Encouragingly, we can learn from some successful experiences in this field right here on Cape Town’s doorstep. The first is Windhoek, which has been making use of recycled water for some 50 years now, and has become a world leader in this practice."
Love in a time of burning: Remembering Winnie MandelaIn memoriam 2018-04-03
"Perhaps, this mettle was her undoing. This fierce and abiding spirit to 'play equal with the boys' was the reason why the one Winnie inside her would suffer at the hands of the other."
Nationalisation of land by the state and the expropriation of land without compensation: A few thoughts on win-win partnershipsOpinion 2018-03-06
"We do have the agricultural plans jointly developed by role players in the agricultural sector, which are based on chapter six of the NDP! The government forked out millions to get all role players around the table to devise workable and implementable plans."
Cities and water: some lessons from very water-scarce placesOpinion 2018-03-05
"One lesson is that no amount of investment in water infrastructure, by itself, can root out water shortage. The dramatic growth in Las Vegas’s population and tourism industry over recent decades has stretched the city’s allocation from the Colorado River – which it shares with several states and other cities – as well as its available groundwater reserves. It remains vulnerable, but drastic changes in its approach to water management have helped the city avoid running out of water."
!Xun Bible translation: an interview with Masenyani BaloyiOpinion 2018-02-28
"My opinion about the general development of indigenous languages in South Africa is that each and every one of us – and every organisation – must promote, and create conditions for, the development and use of all official languages: the Khoi, Nama and San languages; sign language; and all other languages commonly used by communities (see section/article 6(5)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa)."
On the unlawful banning of Inxeba (The wound) by the Films and Publications Board (FPB)Opinion 2018-02-27
"It’s apparent that the appeal board has missed out on the other important aspects of the film, which include same-sex relationships, safe sex, love, the challenges of patriarchal societies, finding the balance between modernity and tradition, negotiating the rural and urban landscapes, as well as the beauty that is embedded within the isiXhosa culture and the traditional rite of passage into manhood."
Indigenous “Khoisan” languages: an interview with Menán du PlessisOpinion 2018-02-15
"In fact, Nama is, for all practical purposes, the only extant Khoekhoe variety (and, indeed, the only Khoisan language of any kind) still spoken in South Africa today. Most of the remaining Nama speakers in South Africa (perhaps around 2 000 of them) are aged at least 50 or upwards, however, although attempts are now being made to reintroduce the language as an additional subject at schools in the Northern Cape."
Water crisis: a country at warOpinion 2018-02-15
"In the end, like in the book, it boils down to helping one another. There is great blessing in giving a glass of water to a poor and thirsty person. It is a form of healing."
Eulogy to Raymond Danowski – in sacred memoryIn memoriam 2018-02-13
"[I]n the mid-70s as he [Raymond] was putting together his collection of 20th-century English poetry ... From this initial stage, today the final product amounts to what is now known as the Danowski Poetry Library – a 75 000-volume collection of rare and first editions of modern and contemporary poetry at Emory University. It includes every poetry volume in English published world-wide in the 20th century."
Review: When swallows cryLifestyle and entertainment 2018-02-09
"The motivation for the play is clear, and this can be a very important piece of theatre: the refugee crisis is, sadly, an ongoing one, and in some wealthy parts of the world, like Trump’s America, refugees – or people fleeing to have better lives – are not welcome."
We are a country in waitingOpinion 2018-02-08
"The postponement of SONA is a metaphor for where we are as a country. We are a country in waiting. The dreams of 1994 and our hopes as citizens have been deferred. Again."
The advent of fee-free education and the future of universities in South AfricaUniversiteitseminaar | University Seminar 2018-01-09
"It has been long coming that as a country we follow in the footsteps of countries like Zimbabwe, Germany, Cuba and Libya, which provide free education. We can find the money, whether through belt-tightening, fighting corruption and illicit siphoning of funds from the country, and/or through increasing corporate tax."
Tribute to Keorapetse William "Bra Willie" KgositsileIn memoriam 2018-01-09
"You walked stride by stride with giants. And, when the time came, you returned to us, held our hands and helped us take baby steps."
#ANC54: Cyril the SilentSeminare en essays 2017-12-19
"For now it’s business as usual for the captured state. Ramaphosa will have to tread softly at least until the 2019 elections."
When Zuma goes by Ralph Mathekga: "Just before midnight" seminarOpinion 2017-12-04
"South Africans need to get more involved in their public affairs and need to evaluate leaders more robustly."