LitNet contributors voice their opinions about current affairs.

I am an African, what is copyright?

Philani A Nyoni Opinion 2024-05-17

"As an author, I am constantly asked for PDF versions of my books. Sure, go ahead and help yourself; I mean, it’s not like I paid a proofreader, paid a designer and sourced the rights to use the artwork on the covers. Sure, go ahead and have a PDF copy on WhatsApp. And cast it as far as mistletoe throughout your entire village, so everyone can read my book while I never benefit a dime off it."

The Z factor in KZN and the elections

Paul Murray Opinion 2024-05-15

"Not only does Zuma challenge the ANC politically, but he also claims its heritage."

South Africa: The triumph of capitalism in a country too big to fail

David Willers Opinion 2024-05-15

"Thirty years of democracy has eased the strained relations between the races of the apartheid years. There is a spontaneity, humour and verve in public life, in the shops and eateries, which is very refreshing to any outside visitor."

Black Economic Empowerment vis-à-vis Sustainable Development Goals: a (mainly) water and sanitation perspective

Chris Heymans Opinion 2024-05-14

"Even the water sector reform after the political transition of 1994 has largely stuck to the direct municipal WSS delivery model from the apartheid era. A major difference, though, is that post-apartheid municipalities took on responsibility for service delivery in areas that had never been as well connected and managed as the previous white-only areas. This still hinders the bridging of these gaps."

Whose voices matter? Trans erasure in public discourse

PATHSA Opinion 2024-05-13

"It is morally, ethically and democratically wrong to exclude the voices of people who live on the margins, to speak for them. Trans and gender-diverse identities and lives are undeniable; to deny them is to rewrite history and to engage in behaviour which is bullying and abusive."

Our most important election since 1994

Matthew Parks Opinion 2024-05-09

"The weather could not be any more different from South Africa’s sunny Karoo to the freezing winters in Moscow, where sunlight may be there for only four hours a day!"

The digital psyche: Why you should pay attention to your social media likes

Alex J Coyne, Suzannah WanderingStar Opinion 2024-05-08

"What does social media say about you, and what could it say about others around you? Social media reveals more than just your basic likes, like listening to Nirvana and reading a lot of Tolkien, but also locks your thoughts and musings in time. TikTok, Facebook and YouTube can be a good way to know someone, but when potential danger signs are ignored, social media is a darker trip."

The diary of an election year: The junction of desperation

Mphuthumi Ntabeni Opinion 2024-05-03

"It is easy in South African politics to blame Zuma, the preterit king of the superfluous, while failing to understand that the fundamental root of our current problems is extreme inequality."

Waiting for water

Karen Jennings Opinion 2024-05-02

"I don’t have the answers or pretend that any of this is easy. Nor will I accept that the ANC inherited an immaculate country in 1994. There was a lot to address – many vast inequalities and systems which were already corrupt and unjust. But it is now 30 years later and there is no denying the fact that we should be much further along ..."

Journey from apartheid to freedom

Bhekisisa Mncube Opinion 2024-05-01

"Despite our country facing challenges such as crime, corruption and energy insecurity, our democracy is worth defending through our vote."

The dangers of the two-state solution

Eben Coetzee Opinion 2024-04-30

"My reservations have nothing to do with whether I support this or that party in the Israel-Palestine conflict. It also has nothing to do with the question of whether it is or is not the right thing to do to support the two-state solution. My question turns on the lesson imparted above, ie, 'And then what will happen?'"

A luta continua: fifty years since the Portuguese revolution fundamentally changed Africa

David Willers Opinion 2024-04-22

"Tens of thousands of civilians flooded into the streets – no one slept that night. Carnations were the flowers in season, and many of the soldiers 'planted' the long-stemmed flowers in their gun barrels – an image broadcast across the world."

Can the private sector help solve South Africa’s water crisis?

Chris Heymans Opinion 2024-04-17

"Widespread municipal corruption, management failures, poor skills and continual disruptions raise serious questions about the prospects of municipalities or other public bodies sustainably delivering better services. Meanwhile, National Treasury has often cited ineffective grant utilisation by municipalities as a key reason for why water finances have not reached local low-income groups."

The Israel-Gaza war – war or genocide?

Eben Coetzee Opinion 2024-04-16

"The word 'intent' is of paramount importance here."

Sudan: the forgotten disaster eclipsing Gaza

David Willers Opinion 2024-04-12

"This always seems to happen nowadays: When wars break out conveniently close and accessible to the world’s press, they get wall-to-wall coverage."

Deus ex machina: Animation, artists and solving the generative AI problem

Alex J Coyne, Suzannah WanderingStar Kunsmatige intelligensie | Artificial intelligence 2024-04-11

"One or two clicks could turn into Johnny Cash performing 'Barbie girl' or create a photograph of Steve Hofmeyr singing into a barbecue sausage."

Will South Africa also plead Taiwan’s cause? I doubt it, and here’s why

Eben Coetzee Opinion 2024-04-10

"South Africa’s foreign policy towards Israel and its war in Gaza should therefore not be seen in isolation, but as part of a broader framework in which the cause of the weak, marginalised and oppressed is apparently advocated."

Are we heading for a service delivery election? A water and sanitation perspective

Chris Heymans Opinion 2024-03-28

"Although water and sanitation service delivery is a local government function in South Africa, it will likely be – like electricity supply – much more prominent in voters’ minds in the upcoming May 2024 national and provincial elections. Voter frustrations about the state of these services recently have boiled over in numerous locations, and may well influence how people vote at national and provincial level."

Ethics and the rise of the hustler state | Etienne van Heerden Veldsoirée 2023

Pedro Tabensky Etienne van Heerden Veldsoirée 2024-03-12

In this video, he asks the viewer to consider how the hunger and humiliation of concentration camps forced individuals into unethical behaviour. Then he turns the spotlight to decades of poverty and humiliation in South Africa.

The South African Copyright Amendment Bill: Imagining how the CAB might affect musicians

Jonathan Shaw Opinion 2024-03-11

"Creators should be incentivised to keep making art, while at some point in time it should be enjoyed by the public at large so that new ideas can be expressed."