The South African student #FeesMustFall uprising at its peak has been largely single-issue driven – scrapping of tuition fees - rather than calling for systemic societal, political, social and economic change, and pushing for change of national leadership, as was the case in North Africa.
Greater workplace democracy in South Africa’s companies is both a moral and ethical issue. Employees are often treated as infants. Because Black people are still predominantly low-skilled, low-wage and dominating manual positions – with whites occupying the high-skilled, high-paid and managerial positions - as it were during apartheid, racist perceptions of Black people as being inferior persist in many workplaces.
What are the lessons from Cuba in dealing with racism? Denial of racism is clearly not an option. Discouraging public discourse about it can not help either. Greater awareness is needed of the systemic nature, the multiple forms and the seeming invisibility of racism in institutions, social spaces and relations.
America’s policies under the Donald Trump White House are likely to hurt Africa. Nations on the continent should aim to diversify their products away from exporting raw materials, foster home-grown small and medium enterprises and intensify intra-Africa trade. They should also diversify their global trading partners.
The paralysis in the ANC and government due to the scandals that are engulfing President Jacob Zuma, his refusal to step down willingly, and his attempts to anoint a successor of his own making, and the pushback by opponents, means that South Africa will remain rudderless until at least the 2019 national elections.
Media organisations, like most of South Africa’s formal institutions, were infused with institutional racism during the apartheid-era. In many cases this is still unchanged. There has to be a greater acknowledgement of institutional racism in organisations.
Fraudulently under-reporting the price, quantity of a product or service and the value of a commercial transaction in invoices are resulting in Africa and developing countries missing out on billions of dollars in tax revenues, foreign exchange and ultimately development.
An internal IMF report admitting the destructive nature of neoliberalism may have come too late for many African countries. The neoliberal structural adjustment programs have led to economic hardships, political instability and conflicts in most African countries where they have been implemented.
African cultures contain elements that may enhance or undermine democracy and development. Because cultures change over time, it is up to Africans to critically examine their own beliefs and practices to see how best they can use these to advance the interests of their people.