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Dr Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh unpacks ‘The New Apartheid’ at VC’s Book Club

The New Apartheid calls on the government to urgently address a number of endemic failings in the system in order to guarantee veracious impact on our use of space, law, wealth, technology and punishment in South Africa.

The volume particularly explores the order of systemic racial oppression — the new apartheid — that continues to thrive, despite or even because of our democratic system.

“Our history is not the same as it was in 1994, yet South Africa’s story is often presented as a triumph of new over old, but while formal apartheid was abolished decades ago, stark and distressing similarities persist,” said Dr Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, author of the book in discussion, The New Apartheid.

“This new apartheid is a privatised, decentralised, self-replicating vestige of the apartheid state. For the people of South Africa, it means poverty or paradise, separated by an inch of glass and a line of code.”

Also speaking at the VC’s Book Club on Friday, 13 August 2021, hosted by the Department of Internationalisation, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, UJ’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal noted that the legacy of Bantu education is still persistent.

“Apartheid can be defined in many ways but officially it was an institutionalised and legalised racial segregation,” said Prof Marwala. “Beyond the definition of apartheid to be understood as a weapon of social distraction, as Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh affirms- it did not die. We should take this seriously as the promulgation of our constitution in 1996, still needs to be debated.”

The manuscript details how the new apartheid continues to be dogged by stark inequalities and chronic underperformance that have deep roots in the legacy of apartheid, but which are also not being effectively tackled by the current government.

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