ASSIGNMENT 1: MODULE 1 & MODULE 2

Consider the list of key questions provided for both Module 1 and Module 2.

Select any key question from Module 1, and any key question from Module 2 (two key questions in total).

Write a short essay in which you explain your own perspectives, thoughts, opinions and ideas about the two key questions that you have selected. In your essay you should refer to the reading material which you have read for these two modules, and discuss some of what you have learned from this reading material. You can also discuss whether you agree or disagree with the positions/views of the authors of each reading, and why.

In your assignment you should clearly state WHICH key questions you have selected to address in your essay. Your essay/assignment should be no shorter than 2 pages, and no longer than 4 pages.

Also, please include the following at the top of the first page:

  • The assignment number (ie. “Assignment 1”)
  • Your full name and surname.

KEY QUESTIONS for Module 1

  1. Did South Africa adopt a ‘low intensity democracy’ framework in 1994? Explain your answer by giving concrete examples.
  1. Was any other outcome, other than the kind of negotiated settlement that happened, possible in the early 1990s?
  1. Is a corporatist ‘social contract’ between labour, state and capital(for example, as in Germany, Sweden) beneficial or detrimental to working class interests?
  1. Did the leadership of the Alliance (the ANC/SACP/COSATU) hijack the process of drawing up the RDP and if so, how?

KEY QUESTIONS for Module 2

  1. What are the key fundamentals (policy components) of GEAR and why are they problematic for the workers and poor?
  1. What does COSATU argue should be the main pillars in the struggle for social equity? Based on those pillars, what in your opinion is the biggest socio-economic problem in South Africa?
  1. Why do you think the ANC embraced/accepted privatisation as one of its most crucial policy tools from the mid-1990s onwards?
  1. Why do you think left/progressive forces in South Africa (for example, unions and the SACP) were unable to stop the ANC/ government from pursuing neoliberal economic policies in the 1990s?

ASSIGNMENT 2: MODULE 3 & MODULE 4

Consider the list of key questions provided for both Module 3 and Module 4.

Select any key question from Module 3, and any key question from Module 4 (two key questions in total).

Write a short essay in which you explain your own perspectives, thoughts, opinions and ideas about the two key questions that you have selected. In your essay you should refer to the reading material which you have read for these two modules, and discuss some of what you have learned from this reading material. You can also discuss whether you agree or disagree with the positions/views of the authors of each reading, and why.

In your assignment you should clearly state WHICH key questions you have selected to address in your essay. Your essay/assignment should be no shorter than 2 pages, and no longer than 4 pages.

Also, please include the following at the top of the first page:

  • The assignment number (ie. “Assignment 2”)
  • Your full name and surname.

KEY QUESTIONS for Module 3:

  1. The Municipal Systems Act allows local authorities to ‘seize property’ for non-payment for services. How has this been implemented?
  1. How has the composition of the ‘working class’ changed in South Africa over the last 20 years and who/what constitutes the ‘other working class’?
  1. What did the struggle of workers at Marikana tell us about wage inequality in South Africa and the attitudes of the rich/bosses?
  1. What do you think are the main reasons for there being so little redistribution of land despite minority ownership of land being at the centre of the apartheid system?

KEY QUESTIONS for Module 4:

  1. Who are your moral/ethical role models in South Africa today? Explain your choices.
  1. How should a country like South Africa go about creating jobs (and what kind of jobs) that do not rely on capitalists?
  1. Do you think a consensus can and should be reached between labour (workers) and capital (the bosses) on the way forward for South Africa? Explain your answer.

4. Do you feel as though class is a more significant issue than race in present-day South Africa? Make an argument either way.

ASSIGNMENT 3: MODULE 5 & MODULE 6

Consider the list of key questions provided for both Module 5 and Module 6.

Select any key question from Module 5, and any key question from Module 6 (two key questions in total).

Write a short essay in which you explain your own perspectives, thoughts, opinions and ideas about the two key questions that you have selected. In your essay you should refer to the reading material which you have read for these two modules, and discuss some of what you have learned from this reading material. You can also discuss whether you agree or disagree with the positions/views of the authors of each reading, and why.

In your assignment you should clearly state WHICH key questions you have selected to address in your essay. Your essay/assignment should be no shorter than 2 pages, and no longer than 4 pages.

Also, please include the following at the top of the first page:

  • The assignment number (ie. “Assignment 3”)
  • Your full name and surname.

KEY QUESTIONS for Module 5:

  1. Do you agree or disagree with Mbeki’s arguments about how to address what he calls South Africa’s ‘two-nations’ divide? Present arguments for your position.
  1. In your opinion, why have an increasingly large number of citizens chosen not to participate in elections and what does this say about the ‘democratic mandate’ of the ANC?
  1. What does Zuma’s rape trial tell us about the man himself as well as the state of gender politics in within the ANC Alliance?
  1. 4. Do you think that COSATU’s alliance with the ANC has been beneficial for the unionised working class? Explain your answer.

KEY QUESTIONS for Module 6:

  1. Why was there a rupture within progressive South African civil society in the early 2000s and what did this mean for the broader working class and poor?
  1. Do you think the political nature of the South Africa state change in any fundamental way after 1994? Explain your answer.
  1. What can present-day community organisations and social movements learn from the internal problems and challenges that led to the demise of the APF?
  1. In your opinion and from your own experience as an activist, why do you think the ANC-run state continues to engage in wide-scale repression and marginalisation of community organisations and their struggles?

ASSIGNMENT 4: MODULE 7 & MODULE 8

Consider the list of key questions provided for both Module 7 and Module 8

Select any key question from Module 7, and any key question from Module 8 (two key questions in total).

Write a short essay in which you explain your own perspectives, thoughts, opinions and ideas about the two key questions that you have selected. In your essay you should refer to the reading material which you have read for these two modules, and discuss some of what you have learned from this reading material. You can also discuss whether you agree or disagree with the positions/views of the authors of each reading, and why.

In your assignment you should clearly state WHICH key questions you have selected to address in your essay. Your essay/assignment should be no shorter than 2 pages, and no longer than 4 pages.

Also, please include the following at the top of the first page:

  • The assignment number (ie. “Assignment 4”)
  • Your full name and surname.

KEY QUESTIONS for Module 7:

  1. In what specific ways can we say that the current economic system in South Africa is ‘post-apartheid’, or not?
  2. What does ‘financialisation’ of an economy mean and how has this benefited South Africa’s capitalists?
  3. Why do you think xenophobia has continued to be a major problem in South Africa?
  4. How has the increased commodification of land in South Africa impacted on social and economic conditions of rural workers/families
  5. Do you agree that a majority of South Africans are opposed to most of the socially progressive clauses in the constitution’s Bill of Rights (for example, the right to equality based on sexual orientation)? Explain your answer.

KEY QUESTIONS for Module 8:

  1. Do you think that South African society under the political rule of the ANC has changed much (since apartheid) in relation to violence, inequality and racial division?
  2. How do you respond to the argument that the general lack of transformation since 1994 cannot be blamed on the ANC but rather largely on apartheid and those outside of the ANC/liberation movement?
  3. Zuma regularly makes use of religious rhetoric to try and convince people into supporting and/or voting for, the ANC. Do you think this approach is appropriate or valid?
  4. To what extent is the militarisation of the police and the securitisation of the state linked to the ways in which the ANC government has responded to protest/dissent under the Zuma government?
  5. What do you think needs to happen for South Africa to ‘finish’ the revolution that was started by the workers and poor as part of the earlier liberation struggle?