Thomas Piketty. Photo: Used under license of Creative Commons Legal Code. The Piketty puzzle: reproducing inequality in everyday life

While the government earnestly pledges its commitment to reversing inequality, it reproduces inequality in the normal behaviour it expects for itself and the broader elite of South Africa’s political-economy. Two recent and very public events illustrate these opposing positions.

Oct 13, 2015
Jeff Rudin
Nanabezi Mgoduswa (59) at his 	home in Bizana, Eastern Cape. He is an applicant in the silicosis case starting on Monday 8 October in the South Gauteng High Court. He worked 	in mines for 14 years. He has silicosis and drug-resistant TB. He received no compensation. Photo by Thom Pierce.Will gold miners get justice?

In King Leopold’s Ghost, the historian Adam Hochschild uncovers the horrors committed in the Belgian Congo in the years before and after 1900. It is a history of slavery, murder and mutilation – anyone who’s seen the pictures of piles of cut-off hands cannot but be horrified by it.

Oct 9, 2015
Marcus Low
Spotlight on social grants: The good, the bad and the confusing

For millions of South Africans, the monthly social grants -- mostly pensions and child support -- are the difference between survival and starvation.

Oct 7, 2015
GroundUp Staff
University of Fort Hare’s “Old Building”. Photo by Wikipedia user Lysippos (GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0).Why DASO won Fort Hare

In May, the Democratic Alliance Student Alliance (DASO) won SRC elections at the University of Fort Hare. The university has been a stronghold of ANC-aligned organisations. We spoke to student leaders to find out what changed.

Oct 6, 2015
Sibusiso Tshabalala
Healthcare workers from across Africa, such as those at the Anova Health Institute in South Africa, offering MSM care. Photo: Anova Health Institute.Time to reposition one of Africa’s great debates: gay rights

Over the past few years, we have seen an explosion of arguments for and against gay rights in Africa. Those in favour of gay rights point out that they can help to protect sexual minorities by making discrimination illegal, in the process making societies more equitable. Those opposed to gay rights allege that homosexuality only arrived with Europeans, that gay rights are a threat to the African nation, and a threat to the heterosexual family.

Oct 6, 2015
Andrew Tucker
Thomas Piketty. Photo: European University Institute Flickr phostream (CC BY-SA 2.0).Piketty’s radical vision for education

During Thomas Piketty’s Nelson Mandela lecture a friend tweeted that, despite the standing ovation, many would choose what to remember. They would parrot his call for investment in education because that was unthreatening. Forget land redistribution, a wealth tax and the national minimum wage, just get the kids in school!

Oct 6, 2015
Doron Isaacs
Terry Bell.The cost of death for the living

We, as a nation, are deeply in debt. And that is very worrying, with declining disposable incomes the rising costs of living and with another festive season fast approaching. Government admits that many households are drowning in debt”. So the plea is for citizens to save more and to retain pensions rather than cash in existing provisions.

Oct 5, 2015
Terry Bell
Photo by Barbara Maregele.Stop hiding behind sub judice

"I can't comment - the matter is sub judice." This is the refrain beloved of senior politicians from Cyril Ramaphosa to Nathi Nhleko to Thandi Modise to Baleka Mbete to President Zuma himself when faced with a difficult question.

Oct 2, 2015
Leo Boonzaier
Soccer legend Eric Cantona. Photo by Wikipedia user Georges Biard (CC BY-SA 3.0)."Application dismissed" - a reflection on My Vote Counts, and losing

To hear those two words from a majority of the Constitutional Court after another wave of tireless campaigning on one of the oldest and most fundamental issues we face as a country was brutal.

Oct 1, 2015
Gregory Solik
Entrance to the Constitutional Court. Photo by Wikipedia user André-Pierre (CC-BY-2.0). Understanding the Constitutional Court judgments on political party funding

In the wake of the Hitachi/Chancellor House investigation in the US and Hitachi Corporation’s agreement to pay a huge amount to settle the corruption allegations made against it, the Constitutional Court’s judgments in My Vote Counts NPC v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others, handed down on Wednesday, could hardly be more pertinent.

Oct 1, 2015
Shanelle van der Berg