Equal Education organised a Solidarity Visit to schools in the Eastern Cape with Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and they were joined by writers Elinor Sisulu, Sindiwe Magona, Njabulo Ndebele, Zakes Mda, Graeme Bloch and Pierre de Vos, as well as other concerned South Africans.
The group witnessed the shocking conditions at some of the province’s poorest schools, including a class of 135 learners at one school and the “overflowing and leaking” toilets at another, which Sisulu described as “a serious health hazard and a real emergency situation”.
Sydelle Willow Smith’s photographs documenting the trip have been published on The Guardian’s website:
Today marked the first day of the Eastern Cape Schools Solidarity Visit. A group of eminent South Africans, led by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, visited two desperate Eastern Cape schools. They encountered gross overcrowding, deplorable ablution facilities and furniture and textbook shortages. The Solidarity Visit is being held to draw attention to the school infrastructure crisis in the Eastern Cape and the need for Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure.
The Daily Maverick’s Mandy de Waal spoke to Equal Education’s Brad Brockman, who said that “Zakes Mda asked why 50 years after he himself had attended school in the rural Eastern Cape, there were still children going to school under these conditions”.
Yesterday, 25 April 2013, a group of eminent South Africans, led by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, visited 4 schools in the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape Schools Solidarity Visit is being held to draw attention to the school infrastructure crisis in the Eastern Cape and to call on Minister Motshekga to publish quality Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure.
De Vos wrote about the trip for the Daily Maverick, saying that, “If we want to begin to address educational inequality, our politicians must stop playing politics with education and must be honest and brave enough to stick their necks out and to demand accountability from officials and, yes, also from those teachers who are not doing their jobs”.
As citizens of a free country, South Africans should rightly demand much from fellow citizens, from powerful private institutions, from big business and from government. It appears deceptively modest, but citizens have a right to demand (and deserve to demand) the supreme and most difficult thing: to have their inherent human dignity respected by all and protected and promoted by those chosen to do so. Judging by what I saw on a recent visit to rural schools in the Eastern Cape, this seemingly modest demand is not always being met.
Verdict: carrot, but the reviewer is befuddled by the re-publication
The Afrikaner Broederbond was established in 1918 with the laudable aim of uplifting Afrikaners, who were impoverished and demoralised in the wake of the Anglo-Boer War.
Increasingly, however, a political agenda came to the fore and during National Party rule the Broederbond was a highly secret organisation dedicated to advantaging “super Afrikaners” who were staunch adherents of an exclusive political establishment dedicated to a supremacist ideology.
Eusebius McKaiser styles himself as a liberal critic of liberalism, the whole and admirable urge of this volume being to search out the limits and contradictions – an intellectual horizon – of our dominant political mode. His engagement begins with analytic philosophy – you can mark the dry “if this then that” style – but unlike that discipline, too often unanchored with abstraction and metaphysics, he marries this to a racial consciousness, a bodily and experiential dimension: that abstract systems of power and domination are, finally, lived and felt by the raw, human pulp of Empire.
The shortlists for the Media24 Books Literary Awards, which recognise work from publishers that fall under the domain of Media24, including NB and Jonathan Ball, and the shortlist for the Rabie Rapport Prize, which is open to all publishers and recognises outstanding debut or early Afrikaans prose, have just been announced.
The winners of the prizes will be revealed at a gala event in Cape Town on 7 June 2013 and will be awarded R35 000 per category. Prize money for the MER Prize for children’s illustrated books is divided between the author and the illustrator.
Here are the complete lists:
WA Hofmeyr Prize – for best Afrikaans literary work across all genres
As award season approaches, Media24 Books takes pride in announcing the short lists for the 2013 Media24 Books Literary Awards and Jan Rabie Rapport Prize. These prizes are awarded annually in six categories to celebrate literary excellence.
The six categories are:
- W.A. Hofmeyr Prize for best Afrikaans literary work across all genres.
- Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English literary work across all genres.
- Recht Malan Prize for best non-literary or non-fiction book.
- M.E.R Prize for best youth novel (ages 8 to 16, however not exclusive).
- M.E.R. Prize for best illustrated children’s book (ages 0 to 8, however not exclusive).
- Jan Rabie Rapport Prize for the best debut or early work characterised by fresh and innovative Afrikaans prose.
The Jan Rabie Rapport Prize is open to all publishers in South Africa while only titles published by Media24 Books publishers in 2012 qualify for the Media24 Books Literary Awards.
The prize money is R35 000 per category (prize money is divided between the author and the illustrator for the M.E.R. Prize for children’s illustrated books) and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Cape Town on Friday, 7 June 2013.
The short lists are:
W.A. Hofmeyr Prize (in alphabetical order):
Die aanspraak van lewende wesens by Ingrid Winterbach, published by Human & Rousseau Om die gedagte van geel by Petra Müller, published by Tafelberg Vaarwel, my effens bevlekte held by Johann De Lange, published by Human & Rousseau
Herman Charles Bosman Prize (in alphabetical order):
groundwork by Rustum Kozain, published by Kwela Books/Snailpress Life Underwater by Ken Barris, published by Kwela Books The Unlikely Genius of Dr Cuthbert Kambazuma by Chris Wadman, published by Jonathan Ball Publishers
Recht Malan Prize (in alphabetical order):
Biko: A Biography by Xolela Mangcu, published by Tafelberg Death of an Idealist by Beverley Naidoo, published by Jonathan Ball Publishers External Mission by Stephen Ellis, published by Jonathan Ball Publishers
M.E.R Prize for best youth novel (in alphabetical order):
Dreaming of Light by Jayne Bauling, published by Tafelberg Hoopvol by Derick van der Walt, published by Tafelberg Tot siens, koning Arthur by Annelie Ferreira, published by Tafelberg
The M.E.R. Prize for best illustrated children’s book (in alphabetical order):
Ben en die walvisse by Ingrid Mennen, illustrated by Irene Berg, published by Tafelberg Nina en die wacky hare by Elizbe van der Colff, illustrated by Chris Venter, published by Tafelberg Princess Talia and the Dragon by Helen Brain, illustrated by Vian Oelofsen, published by Human & Rousseau
Jan Rabie Rapport Prize (in alphabetical order):
Bloedfamilie by MS Burger, published by Human & Rousseau Een stad, drie rooikoppe, sewe dae by Adeline and Lili Radloff, published by Lapa Kaapstad Karma-polisie by Louis de Villiers, published by Quellerie
Congratulations to the authors, illustrators and publishers.
Chimurenga’s Pan-African quarterly gazette, The Chronic, is now out. Contributors include Binyanvanga Wainaina, Niq Mhlongo, Mahmood Mamdani and Andile Mngxitama. Have a look at their list of stockists to see where you can pick up this 48 page paper, which comes with a 40 page books review magazine.
A 48-page newspaper and 40-page stand-alone books review magazine featuring writing, art and photography inflected by the workings of innovation, creativity and resistance.
Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Binyanvanga Wainaina, Dominique Malaquais, Mahmood Mamdani, Andile Mngxitama, Gwen Ansell, Patrice Nganang, Achal Prabhala, Rustum Kostain, Karen Press, Niq Mhlongo, Paula Akugizibwe, Tolu Ogunlesi, Sean Jacobs, Harmony Holiday, Howard French, Billy Kahora are a few of its many contributors from around the world.
The Founders is a fascinating account of the rise of a black elite, the members of which were products of the mission schools and exerted themselves for the extension of human rights in the 19th century colonies and republics that were to make up the present South Africa.
I usually have a few books on the go at any time. Right now I have Deon Meyer’s crime thriller 7 Days on my bedside table. Meyer’s plots do not always work out, but it is difficult not to like his cast of corny characters, most memorably his alcoholic cop Bennie Griessel. Meyer writes better than most of his more celebrated literary counterparts.