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The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future. Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate – in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions. The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions: Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, black consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.
This volume grew out of an initiative of the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS). The NIHSS was established by the minister of higher education and training to re-invigorate the humanities and social sciences in South Africa. Launched in 2014, it has two goals. The first is to promote postgraduate studies and to contribute to the development of a new generation of academics. The second is to reinvigorate the humanities and social sciences through a series of catalytic research projects which aim to open up new avenues for scholarship and to assist in and promote the development of relevant research.
This edited volume, The Unresolved National Question: Left Thought Under Apartheid, is part of a broader catalytic project – Hidden Voices: Left Thought under Apartheid. That project's overall aim is to recover some of the lineages of knowledge production from 1950 to 1990. The project emerged out of an interest in left intellectual contributions towards discussions on race, class, ethnicity and nationalism in South Africa. Specifically, the idea is to look at Hidden Voices – academic voices suppressed by apartheid pressures, and organic intellectual voices outside of the university system, similarly silenced by apartheid.
A number of excellent publications have made available documents from the liberation struggle. In the early 1960s, for example, Gwendolen Carter, Gail Gerhardt and Thomas Karis started collecting documents to begin what is now a seven-volume series – From Protest to Challenge. The Democracy Education Trust has published its six-volume Road to Democracy in South Africa. Allison Drew has edited two volumes of South Africa's Radical Tradition: A Documentary History. Unisa Press has its Hidden History Series, Jacana Media has its Pocket Biographies, and HSRC Press has its Voices of Liberation Series.
None of these, however, is devoted specifically to publishing left thought under apartheid. The first phase of the Hidden Voices project examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years. We wanted to ensure that the volume represented the broadest possible range of left South African thought since 1950, so instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question we identified and selected a number of political traditions, and allowed the authors the freedom to define the question as they believe appropriate – in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question.
The 2015 academic year seemed to begin on a familiar note as students struggled to find sought-after places at South Africa's top universities. Then a protest broke out in February at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The target was the prominent statue of Cecil John Rhodes (the arch-imperialist of the British Empire) which had occupied a central position in the university for nearly a century. The trigger for the protest was the deep sense of injustice felt by black students by this ‘celebration’ of the symbol of colonial conquest, exploitation and land dispossession. The demand, named ‘Rhodes Must Fall’, rapidly spread across South African universities, culminating in the dramatic removal of the statue. In October a demand for no university fee increases – ‘Fees Must Fall’ – took centre stage. By the end of the year the protest had developed into a broader call for the decolonisation of universities, with the issue of race at the centre of nationwide campus protests (Habib, 2015).
Seized with the challenge of the present, the architects of this new movement, not surprisingly, seemed impatient with the narratives of the past. But we have to grasp ‘the present as history’ (a phrase drawn from The Eye of the Needle by political philosopher and anti-apartheid activist Richard Turner, initially published in 1972). The National Question – the drive to build one united, democratic nation – is a ‘century-long discourse on South Africa's nationhood’ (Mistra, 2014: 49) framed by a number of popular narratives or stories:
• Colonialism of a Special Type (CST) – the notion that South Africa consists of two nations, the colonising and the colonised, in the same territory;
• the approach that recognises the numerical superiority of indigenous Africans as the most oppressed and exploited members of society, and places special emphasis on African leadership, as well as prioritising the conditions of African people;
• the ‘rainbow nation’ approach, which emphasises the multiple identities that constitute South Africa's diverse population (Mistra, 2014: 49–50).
We present the results of an approximately 6 100 deg2 104–196 MHz radio sky survey performed with the Murchison Widefield Array during instrument commissioning between 2012 September and 2012 December: the MWACS. The data were taken as meridian drift scans with two different 32-antenna sub-arrays that were available during the commissioning period. The survey covers approximately 20.5 h < RA < 8.5 h, − 58° < Dec < −14°over three frequency bands centred on 119, 150 and 180 MHz, with image resolutions of 6–3 arcmin. The catalogue has 3 arcmin angular resolution and a typical noise level of 40 mJy beam− 1, with reduced sensitivity near the field boundaries and bright sources. We describe the data reduction strategy, based upon mosaicked snapshots, flux density calibration, and source-finding method. We present a catalogue of flux density and spectral index measurements for 14 110 sources, extracted from the mosaic, 1 247 of which are sub-components of complexes of sources.
Significant new opportunities for astrophysics and cosmology have been identified at low radio frequencies. The Murchison Widefield Array is the first telescope in the southern hemisphere designed specifically to explore the low-frequency astronomical sky between 80 and 300 MHz with arcminute angular resolution and high survey efficiency. The telescope will enable new advances along four key science themes, including searching for redshifted 21-cm emission from the EoR in the early Universe; Galactic and extragalactic all-sky southern hemisphere surveys; time-domain astrophysics; and solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric science and space weather. The Murchison Widefield Array is located in Western Australia at the site of the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) low-band telescope and is the only low-frequency SKA precursor facility. In this paper, we review the performance properties of the Murchison Widefield Array and describe its primary scientific objectives.
In August 2010, government officials began closing down clothing and textile factories in Newcastle, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, in the face of angry protests from the workers because the owners were paying less than the statutory minimum wage of R324 a week. Dudu Mabaso, who works in one of these factories, said that as much as she wanted conditions to change at her company, closing down was not an option. ‘People will revolt against closure. It's their source of survival and working for these textile companies is the only way to survive. The wages are low at R250 per week but they are better than nothing.’ (Olifant, 2010:10). The factory owners said that they could not pay more, and survive, in the face of cheap Chinese textile imports. As Alex Liu, chairman of the Newcastle Chinese Chamber of Commerce, asserted, ‘It is impossible for us to pay the minimum wage because we are competing with imports from China and the cut, make and trim price from our customers will not sustain us if we paid the minimum wage of R324 a week’ (Khanyile, 2010a: 3).
South Africa has a sophisticated collective bargaining and dispute resolution system, and by December 2010 agreement had been reached between the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) and employers’ organisations that manufacturers paying less than minimum wages would have until 2012 to get their houses in order. Manufacturers were granted a further sixteen-month extension in which to resolve their noncompliant status. They would have to be at least seventy per cent compliant by the end of March 2011, with further phase-ins over the following thirteen months, culminating in full compliance by the end of April 2012 (Khanyile, 2010b:1). By the end of March 2011, fifty-nine per cent of the inspected factories were complying with the target of paying seventy per cent of the minimum wage, effective from April (Khanyile 2011).
But from the employers’ point of view this was a reluctant agreement. ‘Our view remains,’ commented Johann Baard, director of the Apparel Manufacturers’ Association (Amsa), ‘that many noncompliant factories, and currently compliant factories, cannot afford the current wage structure’ (Marais, Sunday Times, 2011). Renato Palmi, director of the Redress Consultancy, described the agreement as ‘upsetting and worrying’.
Costs involved in double-bottoms (tandem trailers) and TOFC (trailer-on-flatcar; piggyback) were modeled and compared with conventional over-the-road transport of bulk milk from northern Vermont in single trailers. Both modes were found to be both cost-effective and fuel-sparing alternatives to conventional transport.
Since the study's completion, although not as a direct result of it, two shippers have adopted these innovations. One of them (using double-bottoms) has budgeted savings even larger than those claimed in our study.
Costs impose restraints upon all activities. Certain costs chargeable to a sector of an industry–as for example, milk assembly and hauling costs–must be broken down from their total into the shares chargeable to individual users. When there is flexibility in this apportionment of cost shares, part of the burden upon the individual shipper becomes an industry-apportioned constraint upon individual firms, in this case dairymen-shippers. An alternative means of apportioning hauling costs is suggested, to retain large shippers in the conventional hauling system, and to sustain that system for the benefit of small dairymen.
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