Both the state and universities are responsible for the dramatic increase in fees over the last decade, though each likes to blame the other. Between 2006 and 2012, the state’s contribution to the total funding of higher education remained roughly stagnant, at about 40 per cent – yet between 2010 and 2012 tuition fees increased by 27 per cent, whereas student enrolment only increased by 7 per cent. Vice-chancellors suggested that this shift was because of a falling per-capita state subsidy, but this is inaccurate: the per-capita subsidy fell relative to fees precisely because fees were rising so quickly.
This essay comes in the wake of various racial upheavals in South Africa. It deals with the ineffectiveness of a strategy of post-racial pragmatism. It was published by ASRI
“Progress must mean more than just changing racist attitudes. It must mean more than hosting ‘race summits’, or ‘marches against racism’. It must mean uprooting and ultimately destroying the remnants of white supremacy. We simply cannot persist in the belief that neutrality will lead, by some magic, to racial justice. Radical and structural changes to our economy and society are the only way out of this conjuncture. And while these solutions may fill us with dread for their unintended consequences, we should realise that we already are – and always have been – living in a nightmare.”
I recently published this essay for Free Speech Debate on ‘no-platforming’. Have a read!
“At first, ‘no-platforming’ seems at odds with free speech but, on closer view, the story is not so simple. The primary misunderstanding stems from a superficial conception of free speech. Denying someone an influential platform is no more an infringement of their freedom of speech than denying someone a Ferrari is an infringement of their freedom of movement. What we are dealing with in this debate is a special category of prioritised, privileged and unencumbered speech; not so much speech as the means of its magnification. From the outset, then, we should not confuse “no-platforming” with ‘no-speeching’.”
“The constitutional settlement of 1994 was neither a panacea for South Africa’s problems nor an insurmountable obstacle. Rather, it was an act of postponement; an invitation for future generations to untangle the beautifully grotesque mess that is South Africa. Two decades on, the time we borrowed from that postponement is vanishing. A battle for the soul of South Africa is brewing, and nowhere is it raging more fiercely than on the campuses of South African universities.”