Tag Archives: Cape Town

Let me be clear, because some responses suggest I was not in my recent column for the International New York Times: from just about every assessment, the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape are consistently rated among the top performing South African metros and provinces respectively in terms of governance and levels of service delivery. That said, if the Democratic Alliance had its way, this should be the only basis by which the metro and province it governs are to be assessed: relative to other metros and provinces. If the African National Congress had its way, Cape Town and the Western Cape are to be assessed independently, with no reference to the other metros and provinces the ANC itself governs.

This is a political gambit I, as a thinking, observant, politically unaffiliated resident of Cape Town and a citizen of South Africa, am under no obligation and have no desire to play. None of us, really, are under an obligation to play this game, yet we do because many of us support political parties like we do soccer clubs: blindly. Continue reading

A “radical intellectual” replies: No, Ms de Lille, Cape Town is no benchmark for social justice

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Bigotry and the English language, with apologies to Orwell

This post originally appeared in Mail & Guardian’s Thought Leader group blog.

The defence of the indefensible. This is how George Orwell described political speech and language. But such is not the sole domain of politicians. The verbal gymnastics used to justify bigotry often reminds me that within us there exists a potential muddier of thought against whom we must guard steadfastly, lest we defend or commit the unconscionable.

Like political language, the language used to mollify bigotry avoids the imagery created by clear and descriptive words. Instead it opts for the abstract, vague and euphemistic. Homophobe, sexist and racist are too strong … and unfair, it says. Why not douche bag?

“Capetonians aren’t racist. They’re just douche bags.” Continue reading

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16 years into our democracy and the DA still doesn’t get it

Here’s a thought: The Democratic Alliance’s lackadaisical and at times seemingly disdainful attitude toward black voters is one of, if not the biggest impediment to developing a healthy democracy in South Africa. Continue reading

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