“Curbing Inequality Through Decolonising Knowledge Production in Higher Education in South Africa”, by Leon Mwamba in The Australasian Review of African Studies.

GovInn’s Research Fellow Leon Mwamba published the article “Curbing Inequality Through Decolonising Knowledge Production in Higher Education in South Africa” in The Australasian Review of African Studies.

In South Africa, the question of whether a Western education system can lead to the achievement of equality among citizens is quite a problematic one. Thus, the question that has since the advent of the post-apartheid South Africa been a subject of contestation among scholars, is that of, how can the higher education system that was founded on colonial and apartheid white supremacy and hegemony be transformed into a transformative tool that addresses inequalities characterising South African society in the democratic era? This article seeks to provide a de-colonial perspective of how the higher education system of the post-apartheid South Africa can be transformed to  different developmental needs of a heterogeneous population. The purpose is not to dictate answers, but to create avenues of (re)thinking the knowledge production in the South African higher education sector in the quest for an equal and inclusive society. The article’s key argument is that a higher education system such as that in South Africa which was founded on colonial and apartheid ideologies, interests and agendas needs a de-colonial transformation in order to respond to the developmental needs, challenges and aspirations of its heterogeneous population. After an engagement with the myths and assumptions of a decolonised world that conceals coloniality of knowledge, this article, delves into the South African higher education system and the quest for equality that confronts the country. The need to ‘unthink’ and ‘unlearn’ present forms of imagining higher education in South Africa is emphasised.

Read the full article here:

Fees Commission’s report and the Presidency include Director Fioramonti’s take on Fees Must Fall, 13.11.2017

The Presidency acknowledges the contributions of GovInn’s Director Lorenzo Fioramonti in the Fees Commission’s report through a press release this Monday 13th of November. In his contribution, Prof. Fioramonti proposes a model for student’s loans.


Read the press release here.

Read the report here.

‘Managing or governing water resources? Real-time model and the management of the scarcity on the Crocodile River (South Africa)’, by Magalie Bourblanc, 04.08.2017


GovInn’s Senior Researcher Magalie Bourblanc published together with David Blanchon the article ‘Managing or governing water resources? Real-time model and the management of the scarcity on the Crocodile River (South Africa)‘ in the journal Natures Sciences Sociétés (in French).

In this article we analyse three sociotechnical devices that have been implemented to deal with water scarcity on the Crocodile River (South Africa): a resource re-allocation and redistribution process called “compulsory licensing”, a computerised real-time management model and the operationalisation of environmental flows on a monthly and even daily basis. Our analysis highlights the extent to which such sociotechnical devices, far from managing water resources from a purely technical perspective, actually perform as instruments governing water resources. In that respect, they have been able to neutralise specific regulatory provisions and public policy objectives that were at the heart of South Africa’s transformation agenda. In addition, we demonstrate that water scarcity does not represent a real fatality on the Crocodile River but largely stems from management decisions.

Find the full article here:

‘Economic transformation in South Africa – A crisis of confidence, and production’, by Mmusi Maimane in the Daily Maverick, 18.08.2017

The Leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, published his lecture given at GovInn’s event on economic transformation in the Daily Maverick. The lecture was co-organised by Wits’ School of Governance on 17.08.2017.

It is important to spell out our vision succinctly. The DA believes that South Africa needs three important ingredients: (1) a visionary and coherent politics; (2) a skilled and knowledge-loving population; and (3) an ever-modernising, competitive economy that creates jobs for all. This can be done only through the facilitative role of an accountable and technically capable democratic state with a modern outlook.

Read the full article here:

Public Lecture: “Economic Transformation in South Africa” with Mmusi Maimane

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) of the University of Pretoria, in partnership with Wits School of Governance is delighted to invite you to a public lecture on Economic Transformation in South Africa To be delivered by Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance.

In the face of worsening economic conditions, calls for economic transformation in South Africa are getting louder. Yet the meaning and nature of this remain largely unclear. Although there seems to be consensus that transformation is a national imperative, a clear vision for the economic future of South Africa is lacking. Given the importance of political parties in shaping public debate and policy, the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) has decided to host a series of high-level public lectures at which the three leading political parties in South Africa will be given a platform to outline their economic visions for the country, focusing on transformation. This lecture series is inspired by the publication of Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonti’s latest book Wellbeing Economy: Success in a World Without Growth, which includes a section on how to change South Africa. After Mr Maimane’s main presentation, Prof. Fioramonti will provide a commentary based on the research conducted for his book.

Date: Thursday, 17 August 2017

Time: 18:30 – 20:30

Venue: Donald Gordon Auditorium, Wits School of Governance, 2 St David’s Place, Parktown

Seats are limited! RSVP essential! Click on this link: by 14 August 2017.



INVITE – Public lecture by Mmusi Maimane on Economic Transformation (17.8.2017)

‘Secret ballot: Mantashe’s decree is unlawful’, by Mpumelelo Mkhabela at News24, 04.08.2017

GovInn’s Senior Researcher Mpumelelo Mkhabela published the article ‘Secret ballot: Mantashe’s decree is unlawful‘ at News24.

The political phenomenon of “mantashe-ing”, which means changing your views regularly for convenience at the expense of rationality, has taken a new meaning.  The verb to “mantash” entered the lexicon as a fitting recognition of the extraordinary chameleonic skill of Gwede Mantashe, the secretary general of the governing ANC.

Read the full article here:


‘Migration, Logics of Inclusion and Exclusion and Xenophobia: The Case of African Migrants in Post-apartheid South Africa’, by Chris Nshimbi, 26.07.2017

GovInn’s Co-Director Chris Nshimbi published together with Innocent Moyo and Trynos Gumbo the chapter ‘Migration, Logics of Inclusion and Exclusion and Xenophobia: The Case of African Migrants in Post-apartheid South Africa‘ in the Springer book Crisis, Identity and Migration in Post-Colonial Southern Africa.

This contribution explores xenophobic tendencies in post-apartheid South Africa through historical sketches that revolve around debates of belonging, inclusion and exclusion. Such a historicity has created a legacy of suspicion and stigmatisation of migrants from within and without the country resulting in a fractured society with some implicit or explicit ‘othering’ on the basis of suspicion and fear. This has provided a template for exclusion of African migrants through promotion of indigeneity and/or reconfiguration of an exclusivist South African identity, which relegates migrants from other African countries to the subaltern, second and third classiness—a site for xenophobia. On the other hand, South African authorities are faced with a dilemma: they find it difficult to acknowledge the reality of xenophobic hostilities. Doing so would force them to accept that an underlying and continuing exclusivist narrative exists. If xenophobia contributes to the promotion of an exclusive South African identity, we question the approaches that have been adopted to try and resolve the xenophobic challenge and argue that the first real step towards dealing with xenophobia does not rest in denouncing it. Rather, the solution lies in engaging and investing in concerted efforts that ‘clean up’ the image of the African migrant.

Read the chapter or book here:{4b05898ae60f9b5e2d93b69cb2027f6f0d06dfa7d8f8611bbe8472c2532adfa6}2F978-3-319-59235-0

‘Smart redistribution’ can make life better for everyone (including The Rich)’, by Lorenzo Fioramonti on 702, 01.08.2017


GovInn’s Director Lorenzo Fioramonti was interviewed by Radio 702 on ‘Smart redistribution’ can make life better for everyone (including The Rich)’.

It’s hard to have a rational discussion about redistribution in South Africa. So says Lorenzo Fioramonti, Professor of Political Economy and Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation at University of Pretoria. More often than not, frank debate is tainted by ideology, political score settling and, perhaps, a bit of racism.

If we are serious about building a bright future for South Africa, says Fioramonti, we need to bridge cultural and ideological divides.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Fioramonti for his weekly “The Science Of” feature.

Listen to the full interview here:

‘A comparison of the reconciliation barometers in South Africa and Rwanda’, New book chapter by Cori Wielenga

GovInn’s Senior Researcher Cori Wielenga published the book chapter ‘A comparison of the reconciliation barometers in South Africa and Rwanda’ in the book ‘Rethinking reconciliation: Evidence from South Africa‘ by HSRC Press.

Processes of reconciliation, transitional justice and healing are high on the global agenda, yet questions of how to measure their effectiveness remain a challenge. The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), based in Cape Town, South Africa, has developed a survey that measures public opinion on reconciliation in that country. The South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) has been implemented annually between 2003 and 2014, and measures perceptions about progress in reconciliation in South Africa over time. In 2010, a reconciliation barometer was developed and implemented in Rwanda as well.
The indicators used between the two barometers differ for each context, and therefore their findings cannot be directly compared. Instead, this chapter explores the different contexts to better understand how and why the RRB was adapted for the Rwandan context, and what the surveys say about reconciliation in each case. This exploration contributes to the debate on whether or not reconciliation can be measured and how reconciliation barometers can enhance our understanding of national reconciliation processes.

Have a look at the book here:


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