The 2007 Community ÂSurvey conducted by Statistics South Africa gives an impressive account of our developmental progress, concluding that ''today is better than yesterday''. The survey also makes it clear that our society is undergoing massive changes. From the most intimate relations to the most abstract levels of social interaction, communities are in flux.
The crisis in Turkey has been portrayed, simplistically, as a struggle between secular democracy and Islam. But matters are far more complex. Last Sunday the Justice and Development Party, the allegedly Islamist grouping led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, captured many more votes than its opponents in a national poll, writes Suren Pillay.
Afro-pessimists must reflect gleefully on the steady stream of corruption scandals fixating the post-apartheid South African media. After all, this is Africa, they say knowingly, and we are merely a postcolonial Johnny-come-lately to the continental way of doing things.
''There is a saying that goes ''pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will''. This might be a useful refrain when considering the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian state, it seems, is increasingly in the interest of the Zionist project,'' writes Suren Pillay, a lecturer in the department of political studies at the University of the Western Cape.
In certain circles it has become old-fashioned to talk about race and class as categories through which to make sense of the behaviour of people around the world in general, and in South Africa in particular.