Focus

Karel | Jun 20, 2013
Focus is the journal of the HSF. It is used as a forum for public debate and adds new, fresh voices to the policy dialogue. Focus consists of articles and book reviews by academics, public intellectuals, researchers, and policy experts. Focus is published in digital form and is made available for free here on the HSF website.
Focus 76 - The Idea of a University
Sep 14, 2015
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus explores the issues which currently confront Universities in South Africa. Our starting point is the great tract The Idea of a University by John Henry Newman. With his background at Oxford and, later, with his involvement in the establishment of the University of Ireland, he was keenly aware of issues of marginalisation and religious and ethnic differences. Issues which we also face in contemporary South Africa. Nor did questions of finance escape him.

Focus 75 - The Economy
May 04, 2015
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Helen Suzman Foundation

The first edition of Focus for 2015 pays tribute to the late Harry Zarenda, and is dedicated to an examination of the South African economy.

Focus 74 - State and Nation
Oct 30, 2014
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Helen Suzman Foundation

The final edition of Focus for 2014 recapitulates and analyses some of the issues which have arisen in the past year with a view to adding new and alternative assessments of South Africa’s development as a constitutional state.

Focus 73 - Social Inclusion
Aug 13, 2014
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Helen Suzman Foundation

The idea of ‘social inclusion’ is a relatively new one in the policy terrain. To some extent, it has supplanted earlier concepts of social cohesion and social capital. Current thinking around society has moved on considerably since Mrs. Thatcher’s notorious dismissal of ‘society’. In South Africa the term has gained currency because of concern about growing inequalities which, at times, seem to overwhelm any considerations of what it means to be a South African.

Focus 72 - Democracy and Its Discontents
Apr 04, 2014
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus celebrates 20 years of democracy in South Africa. But it also draws attention to some of the institutional, economic and social problems which have either emerged, or which carry over from the pre-1994 dispensation. Notwithstanding all these discontents – which, no doubt, are exacerbated by the turbulent global context – there is much to celebrate in our constitutional democracy. Above all, we should never forget where we have come from, even though it is not all that clear where we are heading. Perhaps we will know a little bit more after 7 May

Focus 71 - State & Nation
Nov 11, 2013
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus is devoted to exploring some of the issues which confront state and society in South Africa. Three distinct themes emerge, namely, the Executive and the state apparatus dealing with prosecution and security; foreign policy in relation to Africa; and, lastly, the challenges facing South African universities (including their admission policies).

Focus 70 - On Land
Oct 10, 2013
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This year marks 100 years since the passing of the Natives Land Act of 1913. This Act has had profound consequences not only for individuals and communities, but it has also, in part, determined the political trajectories of modern South Africa. This edition of Focus is devoted to the Land Question.

Focus 69 - Future of our Cities
Jun 12, 2013
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Helen Suzman Foundation

In their extraordinary tribute to the bourgeoisie in the Communist Manifesto – and whatever else that tract may be, it is also a tribute to the bourgeoisie – Marx and Engels pointed out that the bourgeoisie had rescued a “considerable amount of the population from the idiocy of their rural life”.1 For Marx and Engels the city became the locus of all that was modern and progressive, but also alienating. These twin themes of progress and alienation still characterize our thinking on cities. While those who have the means may opt – like Marie Antoinette in the 18th century – to have quasi rural retreats in such idyllic places as Greyton, McGregor, Polokwane or Parys, the majority of South Africans are confined to urban settings; and it is these urban settings that are the subject of this edition of Focus.

Focus 68 - Education: Overcoming & Innovation
Mar 31, 2013
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Helen Suzman Foundation

Welcome to the first 2013 issue of Focus, devoted to education and organised along the themes of Overcoming and Innovation. This issue of Focus is an attempt to broaden and deepen the education debate, moving beyond our stagnant litany of educational woes. It includes personal perspectives, as well as expert opinions, because education should be understood as much through the lived experience of learners and families as through policies and theories. There is an emphasis on the Arts, an increasingly neglected weapon in our armoury against both ignorance and exclusion.

Focus 67 - State and Nation
Nov 20, 2012
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus is devoted to exploring some of the issues which confront state and society in South Africa. It self-consciously looks forward to the State of the Nation Address by the President which will be delivered in February 2013. It also seeks to remind readers of Focus of the wider social context in which the drama of South African politics is played out.

Focus 66 - Information & Communication Technology - Download the future
Oct 24, 2012
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Helen Suzman Foundation

“According to the European Commission, the importance of ICT lies less in the technology itself than in its ability to create greater access to information and communication in underserved populations. Many countries around the world have established organisations for the promotion of ICTs, because it is feared that unless less technologically advanced areas have a chance to catch up, the increasing technological advances in developed nations will only serve to exacerbate the already-existing economic gap between technological “have” and “have not” areas.” This is the crux of why the Helen Suzman Foundation has chosen to look at the subject.

Focus 65 - On Liberty
Jul 27, 2012
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus is devoted to exploring some of the challenges, both social and political, which have confronted South African liberalism as it seeks to deepen the notion of liberty in our daily life. Balancing the demands of economic efficiency, social justice and individual liberty is, as Keynes so neatly pointed out nearly a century ago, the central political problem.