Leader.co.za

South Africa should be a "divide-free" country

by Frans Bezuidenhout: Acting head of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at NMMU, and the programme coordinator of the highly-successful postgraduate Group Dynamics Programme.
There is a noticeable line of division that runs through the history of South Africa, but this does not necessarily imply that we are a divided nation — irrespective the emotions and behaviours evidenced, amongst others, by the presence of political dissatisfaction and disparity at socio-economic level.  

It can be reasoned that other countries of the world have similar trends, why then the emphasis that South Africa should be an ‘undivided’ country. If this is the case, perhaps it would be easier to wipe South Africa from the world and to start nation building all over again. With tongue in the cheek, I cannot think who else other than South Africans will want a front seat!

However, how divided we may seem or be, just a time ago South Africa beamed its unity of nation to the world when it hosted the FIFA World Cup. Most claim it was the focus that knit the threads of gold together. Be it this or something else, South Africans have proved a point! My years of teaching have enabled, through a diverse student body, learning about 'dividedness', and this motivated (and I would guess some others too) the application of inclusion — the latter a missing link fully entrenched during the days of apartheid, when togetherness implied separateness.

There is no quick remedy for ‘dividedness’; and, while I believe that the core values of the NMMU, if practiced to the full, will contribute toward a unified nation, it is my understanding that dividedness is equal to a lack of needs-fulfillment. For this reason I believe that the values love, justice and confident dependence should be the basis of interpersonal relations that should be taught and practiced at grassroots level within our institutions of tertiary education.

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Nelson Mandela University
The vision of Nelson Mandela University is to be a dynamic African university, recognised for its leadership in generating cutting-edge knowledge for a sustainable future.
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