News & events


Public Discussion: The Poverty of Ideas

27 November 2009
18:00 - 20:00

Date :

27 November 2009

Time :

18:00 – 20:00


Public Discussion based on a book The Poverty of Ideas: South African Democracy and the Retreat of Intellectuals, with editors William Gumede and Leslie Dikeni. William and Leslie will engage in a panel discussion with Fikile Mbalula, Prince Mashele and Pearl Sithole of the HSRC.

“The progressive intellectual appears by many accounts to have lost his or her voice; their silence deafening…”  Dikeni & Gumede, 2009

In a country where it has been suggested that the distinction requirements at schools be moved down from 80% to 70%, it is of grave importance that we evaluate the role of knowledge and the significance we attach to it. Do we respect and value the production of knowledge? Is contemporary South African society being “dumbed down”? And if knowledge is no longer an essential commodity, do we have a need for a “thinking class”; the intellectuals?

Where are our great South African minds?

Are they hiding in fear of our society’s seeming intolerance of criticism and dissent? Eminent thinkers Leslie Dikeni and William Gumede examine how South Africa intellectuals have regressed from drivers of change in the Apartheid era to disenchanted ghosts that appear to fear critical engagement in The Poverty of Ideas.

This public discussion will offer a differing but critical evaluations of the responsibility of the progressive intellectual in a new democracy. During the struggle against apartheid intellectuals have spoken out and more often than not influenced the trajectory of events. But it appears that today’s intellectuals are paralysed by fear of raising the ire of authority.

Kindly RSVP to: Benedict Xolani Dube, tel 0823524277


Durban: Elangeni Hotel, Durban, North Beach