SILENT WARS: The ANC, EFF and DA debate over whether democracy is delivering.
Photo: Thabile Manala.
South Africa’s international image is not as competitive as it used to be because of the weak economy and corruption.
This was according to Thebe Ikalafeng, founder of Brand Leadership and Brand Africa. Ikalafeng was among the panel including Mmusi Maimane, Dali Mpofu and Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane at the BBC Africa Debate this afternoon discussing: Is Democracy Delivering?
Ikalafeng said while South Africa may be significantly better since 1994, it is not looking as good as “we” want it to. This is why Nigeria’s economy managed to surpass South Africa as the largest economy in Africa.
Ikalafeng said according to Foreign Policy magazine which measures countries that yield the highest returns from investors- South Africa ranked 41, compared to Botswana (2), Rwanda (5) and Ghana (10). “Around election time there is a tendency to look at individual issues [and] not things in totality,” he said.
Mpofu, Gauteng premier candidate of the Economic Freedom Fighters, said: “political freedom is meaningless without economic freedom”. He said that the EFF emphasises questions of land because there is no reason why Africa cannot feed itself possessing so many raw materials.
Maimane said the story of South Africa must be headlined by economic growth and employment. He referred to the leadership of the ruling party saying: “our trajectory as a nation is one of decline instead of upliftment.”
Mokonyane, who is ANC head of elections, defended the ruling party saying “Nelson Mandela would be proud today because the ANC has not deviated from its policies”. Mokonyane agreed positively to the question of whether the ANC has the moral weight to represent South Africa and said “[it is] not about ‘feeling’ but what we are doing”.
Vuyani Sam, an audience member, said the mentality of politicians promising the public things they cannot deliver to get votes needs to be challenged. “A nation as desperate as this is a danger to itself,” he said.
NEW TEAM: The newly elected executive committee is hoping to fill in the vacant positions soon before it fully takes over. Photo: Nqobile Dludla
A new Wits Postgraduate Association (PGA) executive committee was elected this afternoon following a secret ballot.
The elections, which privately took place inside the SRC (Students Representatives Council) boardroom, consisted of some members of the outgoing executive committee along with a few members of the PGA Council who were overseeing the election process.
The Wits PGA is a student representative body for postgraduate students at the University.
Unlike the usual elections whereby candidates read out their manifestos to students, the PGA Council which is made up of postgraduate student representatives from each of the 35 Schools within the university elects members to serve on the Executive Committee.
Expressing his hopes for the newly elected executive committee, Manoshe Phasha, outgoing PGA chair stressed the importance of communication as coordinating the association was a difficult task.
“Running PGA is not as easy as running SRC whereby everyone is a fulltime student and around here.. So it’s difficult coordinating PGA. If they [newly elected executive] keep on the communication they will do well and I do hope that they stick together as a team ” The PGA often has members who are part-time students in full-time employment which can be difficult to manage.
2014/2015 PGA Executive Committee
Chairperson: Vuyisani Kuboni
Deputy Chair: Siyanda Mngadi
Treasurer: Dominic Khumalo
Secretary: Samantha Jack
Media and Liaison Officer: Ayodimeji Biobaku
Residence Student Representative: Vacant
International Student Representative: Patience Gumbo
Local Student Representative: Vacant
Research Student Representative: William Wright
Coursework Representative: Moorosi Leshoele
Faculty Rep- Commerce, Law & Management: Phelelani Mpanza
Faculty Rep- Engineering: Grant Davis
Faculty Rep- Health Sciences: Nicholas Bacci
Faculty Rep- Humanities: Vacant
Faculty Rep- Science: Marcelle Johnson
A CHANCE TO GIVE: With the weather becoming increasingly colder, students can donate clothes to those in need. Photo: Zelmarie Goosen
Winter is fast approaching and while most of us are geared for the cold, there are many students that need some help keeping warm.
Wits campus radio station VowFM recently launched their annual campaign to collect warm winter clothing for those in need.
“Every year we have different homes that we work with in the Braamfontein area,” said Vow’s marketing manager Lucky Mdaweni. “This year we’re working with the Wits Volunteering Office, [now called] Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach (WCCO).”
The WCCO office helps VoWFM locate charity homes, as well as students within the university who are in need of the donated items.
“They work a lot more closely with students on campus who need the clothing and other things … which works nicely because not all students on campus want to be known as the kids who want clothing, so they work with them anonymously.”
Mdaweni says that Witsies have responded positively to the initiative. “We’ve had a lot of requests to have the boxes stay a bit longer, purely because of the demand in terms of people giving a lot of clothing within the university,” Mdaweni said.
The campaign runs until the end of June, when all the clothes that have been donated are given out, but continues after that if people want to donate more. Boxes, such as those pictured above are located all over campus.
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HEAVY THOUGHTS: The Wits Transformation Office held a round table discussion on race which stirred up a heated debate amongst the audience.
Photo: Lameez Omarjee
By Robyn Kirk and Lameez Omarjee
Race continues to be an issue in South Africa, even in the apparently transformed halls of higher education.
This was the predominant view of the audience at the Wits Transformation Office roundtable discussion on campus earlier today. The discussion looked at the relevance of race in the 20 year old democracy of South Africa but focused on the issue of transformation in higher education.
The Wits Transformation Office maintains that Wits University has transformed in terms of both race and gender over the last 20 years. But speakers at the discussion felt otherwise.
Athi-Nangamso Nkopo, a Master’s student in Political Science and founder of the Feminist Forum said that “although Wits University has improved in the racial representation of students enrolled, not enough systems are in place to ensure non-white students succeed and graduate. She argued that “in higher education, not enough is being done for women to advance,” and added that the improvements on campus are not an accurate representation of the demographics of the country.
Michlene Mongae, the Secretary General of the Wits SRC (Students Representatives Council), pointed out that within the space of the university different racial groups tolerated one another, however this was not the case within private spaces such as at home or with friends. She also indicated that actively trying to look beyond race clearly shows that race still matters.
Mongae argued that in the past, white students were the most politically active on campus and over 20 years, black students have become the more politically dominant group on campus. “White students do not protest because they do not have to,” responded Mashele.
The comment sparked interest from the audience, where one audience member noting that the lack of white students at a discussion about race is an indication of the aparthy towards the issue.