Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-475120130001&lang=en vol. 53 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>How to portray the history of philosophy</b>: <b>Exploring philosophical historiographic problems and methodologies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Hierdie artikel behels 'n ondersoek na 'n gepaste metode om die geskiedenis van die filosofie weer te gee. So 'n wysgerige historiografie behels 'n besondere uitdaging aangesien dit die 2500-jarige Westerse denke, honderde individuele filosowe se stelsels en die wye veld van filosofie as sodanig moet dek. Die eerste, inleidende afdeling vestig die aandag op 'n aantal moeilike struikelblokke ofprobleme op die pad van die wysgerige historiograaf. Die tweede afdeling van die artikel gee in voëlvlug 'n oorsig oor verskeie vroeëre en gangbare metodes. Daaronder val die volgende: pogings om individuele filosofieë as vertrekpunt te gebruik, 'n kronologiese aanpak, 'n psigologies-etnografiese metode, indelings in breë tydvakke, vanuit verskillende denkstrominge asook probleem- en lewensbeskoulikgerigte benaderings. Verder word die aandag gevestig op die rol wat elke historiograaf se eie voorveronderstellings in sy verkose metode speel asook die dikwels gepaardgaande terminologiese verwarring tussen verskillende metodologieë. Die derde hoofdeel formuleer, in die lig van al die leemtes wat in die eerste twee geïdentifiseer is, die belangrikste kriteria waaraan 'n wysgerige historiografie behoort te beantwoord. Hierdie maatstawwe sluit die volgende in: konsekwentheid tussen die geskiedskrywer se eie vertrekpunt en sy metode(s); dat dit sowel konsekwent histories as filosofies moet wees; konsekwente probleemgerigtheid, met die gebruikmaking van eenduidige terminologie en dat dit ook prakties beproef behoort te wees. Ten slotte word die aandag daarop gevestig dat so 'n konsekwente historiografiese metode vir die filosofie wel bestaan en afsonderlike bespreking in 'n opvolgartikel verdien.<hr/>To design an appropriate methodology to study the approximate 2500years of Western philosophy, inclusive of many individual philosophers, constitutes a quite daunting challenge. Nevertheless, it is of vital importance that it be attempted since one's methodology predetermines one 's final results. While reflecting a scholar's own presuppositions on the one hand, the chosen method should simultaneously not force history into a pre-conceived scheme on the other. Furthermore, in attempting to do justice to its wide field of investigation, the proposed methodology should at the very least be both fully historical and clearly philosophical in nature. Philosophic historiographers of the past, however, tended to emphasise either the historical development or the philosophical problems or ideas. More stumbling-blocks on the way are for example: the influence of broader and narrower views on the field of investigation of philosophy on its historiography; criteria for determining either the importance or unimportance of a specific philosopher or school of philosophy; the choice between either the present-day relevance of its history or faithfulness to the ancient birth of Western philosophy in Greece. In order to highlight their strengths and weaknesses, the second part of this essay provides a brief survey of various methodologies. Some textbooks on the history of philosophy, or anthologies containing selections from the writings of past philosophers, simply make a selection of those philosophers whom the writer/editor himself regards as of importance. A second group prefers to follow a chronological method. The third employs a kind of psychological-ethnic approach, taking the "soul" of a nation as vantage point, dividing history into, for example, German, French, English and other national philosophies. Many others approach the history of philosophy from the perspective of different epochs and accordingly divide it into pre-modern (ancient), medieval, modern and postmodern eras. Others again, prefer a more detailed division into successive centuries, characterised for example as "the age of belief", "the age of reason" etcetera. Then there are those who further subdivide the centuries into smaller, different philosophical currents. Apart from these synchronic methods, several diachronic methods were also developed. Examples discussed in the overview are various "history of ideas" methods, as well as a worldviewish approach. In the light of the preceding information, the third main section of the article attempts to formulate essential criteria for a more comprehensive and appropriate historiographical method of research: (1) a historian of philosophy should openly and clearly state the relationship between his own philosophical viewpoint and his method of describing the history of philosophy; (2) it should be consistently philosophical in nature; (3) consistently historical and (4) problem-directed; (5) consistent in the terminology applied and (6) experimentally tested. The whole exploration is concluded with a brief review as well as the preview of a follow-on article in which the origin, basic contours and critical appraisal of the consistent problem-historical method of philosophical historiography of prof. D.H.Th. Vollenhoven (1892-1975) and his followers will be discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Practices and strategies that should nurture a quality ethos in higher education institutions</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Hierdie artikel fokus op die laaste twee fases van 'n navorsingsprojek, wat oor dertien jaar (1998 tot 2011) en vier fases gestrek het, en kwaliteitspraktisyns van Suid-Afrikaanse, asook van internasionale hoëronderwysinstellings, betrek het. Die projek het eerstens gepoog om bydraende faktore tot 'n kwaliteitskultuur te identifiseer en tweedens om strategies en praktyke te genereer wat 'n grondliggende kwaliteitsetos aan hoëronderwysinstellings kan koester en uiteindelik sou kon vaslê. Fase een (1998 tot 2001) het daarna gestreef om die heersende kwaliteitskultuur van elkeen van die voormalige Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit se ses fakulteite te probeer peil. Fase twee (2002 tot 2004) het gefokus op moontlike veranderinge in kwaliteitskulture en grondliggende kwaliteitsentimente van hierdie fakulteite. Fase drie van die projek (2005 tot 2008) het aanvanklik op die "nuwe" Universiteit van Johannesburg gefokus en het twee institusionele en een nasionale werkswinkel in die getransformeerde Suid-Afrikaanse hoëronderwyslandskap ingesluit. Fase vier het vyf werkswinkels, wat tussen 2008 en 2011 by internasionale hoëronderwyskongresse met gebruikmaking van die waarderende ondersoekmetode gefasiliteer is, geïnkorporeer. Sewe bydraende faktore tot 'n institusionele kwaliteitskultuur, asook sewe praktyke of strategies, wat 'n grondliggende kwaliteitsetos aan instellings kan koester en sou kon vaslê, verteenwoordig die projek se hoofbevindinge. Dit is merkwaardig dat die projekresultate volledig ooreenstem met die uitkomste van die kwaliteitskultuurprojek (2002 tot 2009) van die Vereniging van Europese Universiteite (European University Association (EUA)). Die hoofgevolgtrekking was dat die vaslegging van 'n kwaliteitsetos grootliks afhang van die mate waarin die institusionele kwaliteitsbenadering in sinergie is met (veral akademiese) personeel se gedeelde waardes, oortuigings en verwagtinge.<hr/>This article reflects on the last two phases of a research project, covering a period of thirteen years (1998 to 2011), conducted in four phases, and involving quality practitioners from South Africa and three other continents. The project firstly strove to identify contributors to a quality culture, and secondly to generate strategies and practices that should nurture and eventually embed an underlying quality ethos in higher education institutions. The Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) was assigned national oversight of quality assurance in the South African higher education sector in 2001. The HEQC encouraged institutions to promote a culture of continuous improvement via their internal quality processes, strategies and structures. However, only limited empirical (tried and tested) information was available at that stage, in respect of exactly what such a quality culture would entail and the kind ofethos that was needed to nurture and eventually embed theformer culture. This was then the main catalyst, which instigated this project. The relationship between a culture and an ethos is important, and required specific investigation. A culture was defined as the patterns of assumptions, norms, values, practices and beliefs, which the employees or members of a higher education institution regard as appropriate ways of perceiving, thinking, feeling and acting. An ethos was seen as the underlying sentiment or distinctive spirit of a culture. The project therefore explored elements or manifestations of the underlying sentiment of higher education institutions, which are perceived to enhance quality-related assumptions, norms, values, practices and beliefs; thereby nurturing (and eventually embedding) a quality ethos. Phase 1 of theproject (1998 to 2001) endeavoured to get a grip on the reigning quality culture of each of the then Rand Afrikaans University's six faculties, by collecting and analysing views from the respective faculty quality committees. The typical faculty quality culture, at the time, was labelled as "reproductive". The underlying sentiment (or ethos) of this kind of culture is usually aimed at maintaining the status quo. The second project phase (2002 to 2004) focused on possible changes in faculty quality cultures and in underlying quality ethos since 1998. This led the researchers to conclude that, after a period offive to six years, the quality cultures of all faculties had changed considerably. Quality committees now perceived quality as a much more important indicator of faculty effectiveness. However, the underlying faculty quality ethos was still (as in the late 1990s) perceived to be more re-active than pro-active - mostly shaped by demands or requests from external "forces" ("someone or something out there"). Fairly deep-seated concerns from academics, that an overtly enthusiastic quality assurance focus by faculties might undermine scholarship and autonomy, gave rise to and maintained the re-active kind of ethos. The project's focus became broader in phases 3 and 4 - the emphasis being on contributors to an institutional (which might be different from a faculty) quality culture and its underlying ethos. The researchers were now faced with a totally reformed South African higher education landscape - the number of institutions had been reduced from 36 to 23, with six "new" comprehensive universities, sharing the landscape with eleven "traditional" universities and six universities of technology. The methodology employed during phases 3 and 4, was the action research and organisational change approach, known as appreciative inquiry, applied in its usual interactive workshop mode. The intention was to uncover strategies and practices "that seem to work", by eliciting positive responses from participants to the appreciative inquiry-question: "What gives life to an institutional quality culture when it functions at its best?" Phase 3 kicked-off with in-house workshops at the University of Johannesburg, during the second semester of2007 and the first semester of2008. The project then gained "national status", when the Higher Education Quality Committee invited the researchers to facilitate a similar workshop (for quality practitioners and directors of national higher education institutions), in the second semester of 2008. This workshop generated constructive responses in respect of perceived contributors to an institutional quality culture; as well as practices, which might either sustain or impede an underlying quality ethos. The researchers hence had the privilege to soundboard, attest and verify their workshop findings (although based on a very selective group of participants) in the international domain, as phase 4 of theproject. Five similar workshops were conducted, on invitation, at international higher education conferences (generally institutional research, planning- and quality-related events) between 2008 and 2011. Seven main contributors to an institutional quality culture, and incidentally also seven practices and/or strategies, which should nurture and embed an underlying quality ethos, represent the project's main findings. From 2002 to 2009, the European University Association (EUA) launched a similar project, supporting European universities in embedding their own institutional quality cultures. An institutional quality culture in higher education, the EUA project found, usually consists of two interdependent components, namely: (1) shared values, beliefs, expectations and commitment towards quality and (2) a pro-active and focused institutional approach to quality assurance and enhancement in all areas. The South African project, most remarkably, found that the nature of the interface between these two components - the extent of alignment and synergy between the institutional quality approach and shared (especially academic) staff values, beliefs and expectations - lies at the heart ofthe establishment and perpetuation of an institutional quality ethos. A thorough understanding of the necessary condition(s) for optimal interplay between these two components, as well as contributing or limiting factors, are considered as much-needed and desirable future research. <![CDATA[<b>The Western human being's "loss of meaning"</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Verskeie studies het onlangs bevind dat die Westerse mens 'n verlies aan betekenis ervaar. Hierdie artikel bespreek en identifiseer die histories-filosofiese invloede wat, volgens die outeur, bygedra het tot die Westerse mens se stelselmatige verlies aan betekenis. Ses groot verskuiwings in die moderne era word geïdentiüseer wat uiteindelik uitgeloop het op die fragmentasie van Westerse denke en die ondergang van hegemoniese waarheidskonsepte. Die artikel stel dat Westerse "betekenisverlies" te wyte is aan die ineenstorting van modernisme, die disintegrasie van allesomvattende waarheidsisteme en die fragmentasie van rasionaliteit. Die gevolgtrekking van die artikel is dat die kollektiewe betekenisverlies wat die Westerse mens ervaar sistemies van aard is en daarom nie bloot aan persoonlikheidsfaktore of tydelike sosiale faktore toegeskryf kan word nie. Die voortgaande proses van betekenisverlies sal slegs deur 'n radikale paradigmaskuif in die Westerse denke gestuit kan word.<hr/>Several authoritative studies have indicated that Western people are currently experiencing a loss of meaning. This article states that this collective sense of loss of meaning is partly due to the fragmentation of Western rationality. It attempts to identify historical-philosophical factors that might have contributed to Western society's sense of the loss of meaning. Several shifts in Western history are identified and their contribution to the ultimate fragmentation of Western rationality is discussed. The shifts identified are the rise of voluntarism and nominalism, the effects of the Rennaisance and Reformation on Western society, the development of an autonomous anthropology, the rise of an immanent political and economical order, the surge in materialist ideologies in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, and the epistemological shift from modernism to postmodernism. The shift from realism to voluntarism and nominalism led to a greater separation between the transcendent and immanent realms and also a pursuit of instrumental rationality, while the Reformation and Renaissance brought about an emphasis on will, freedom and the reconstruction of society. The Enlightenment created an autonomous anthropology, that coincided with the construction of a purely immanent frame of reference that can function independently of God, while the transcendent becomes a domain outside the boundaries of human reason. Ethics are now founded in the human will, religion is purified from myths and supernatural concepts and Christian humanism is steadily being replaced by what Charles Taylor calls "exclusive humanism". The autonomous anthropology developed by Enlightenment thinkers would necessarily lead to the rise of an immanent political and social order. The traditional theocratic political order that was embedded in a higher sacral order is now replaced by an immanent social order founded on rights and horizontal humanism; a new kind of individualism originates that emphasises self-interest and the exchange of goods for mutual benefit; progress becomes a central societal ideal and greater differentiation takes place because a variety of rationalities in the public sphere are acknowledged that compete with one another. In the greater differentiation, individualism and pluralism that emanate from the construction of a new political and economic order we find the origins of the later fragmentation of Western reason, because all of of these social phenomena create fluid identities. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries were characterised by the rise of materialist ideologies such as Marxism, Communism, Social Darwinism and Capitalism. All of these ideologies are undergirded by an underlying will to power. The dangerous downside of Marxism, Communism and Social Darwinism manifested itself in the twentieth century in bloody revolutions, ethnic cleansings, genocide, two World Wars and a Cold War. Capitalism enhanced global inequality and contributed directly to the destruction of natural resources. The last big shift can be described as epistemological in nature and is constituted by the rise of postmodernism after the Second World War. Postmodernism is characterised by fragmented rationality, to such a degree that comprehensive systems of truth that provide all-encompassing explanations for reality have totally disintegrated. Various factors have contributed to this fragmentation such as the horrific results of global conflicts in the twentieth century, the nature of modernism itself, processes of pluralism and globalisation and developments within the natural sciences. The "death" of hegemonic notions of truth and the fragmentation of rationality inevitably cause instability and a sense of meaninglessness. The article concludes that Western people's collective sense of loss of meaning is systemic in nature and cannot merely be ascribed to psychological attributes or temporary social factors. This "systemic" problem needs to be addressed by the social sciences through the development of a new kind of rationality that averts disintegration. <![CDATA[<b>Representations of violence in Slaghuis (2007) and Skrapnel (2011) by playwright Willem Anker</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Die doel met hierdie artikel is om vas te stel hoe die konseptuele metafore geweld is literêre weerwraak en geweld is globale terrorisme in twee dramas deur Willem Anker na vore tree. Daar word in die bespreking voorgestel dat Anker se dramas onder andere onder invloed van Sarah Kane se dramas, veral Crave (2001), staan. In Slaghuis (2007) neem die voorstellings van geweld die aard aan van literêre weerwraak. Daarin eis die karakters wat die dramaturg uit romans deur Etienne Leroux oorgeneem het, dat Leroux (wat as 'n karakter in die teks teenwoordig is) hulle sal klaar skryf. Hy weier, met die gevolg dat sy eie karakters hom koelbloedig in 'n fiksionele slaghuis-op-die-verhoog om die lewe bring. In Skrapnel (2011) speel die voorstellings van geweld teen die agtergrond van die bestaan van globale geweld af. Hierdie voorstellings hou met die geweld onderliggend aan 'n geslag ontheemde jong Suid-Afrikaners se buitelandse diasporiese ballingskap verband. Die hoofkarakters se verhouding bied verder 'n weerspieëling van nihilistiese geweld wat teen die agtergrond van internasionale terreur afspeel, naamlik die aanval op die Londense moltreinstelsel in 2005 en die aanval op twee toringgeboue in New York in 2001. Uiterstes van geweld kom ook in Adriaan Meyer se drama Prinsloo versus (2009) en Marlene van Niekerk se Die kortstondige raklewe van Anastacia W [sj] voor. Hierdie bespreking bevestig Brink (2010) se uitspraak dat nuwe vorme van voorstelling en uiterstes van geweld tans kenmerkend van sommige tekste in die Afrikaanse drama is.<hr/>The article aims at establishing whether and how the conceptual metaphors violence is literary revenge and violence is global terrorism realise in two published plays by Willem Anker. This aim raises critical questions concerning the nature of the violence depicted in Slaghuis (meaning butchery, 2007) and in Skrapnel (meaning shrapnel, 2011). An additional critical question is whether representations of violence are unique to Anker's plays, i.e. whether representing specific forms of violence are also present in other Afrikaans plays from the decade during which plays by Anker were staged. Similar to Pirandello's play, Six Characters in Search of an Author (1922), the characters in Slaghuis (2007) display an ambivalent nature. The explanation for the ambivalence is that the characters originate from books by Afrikaans novelist Etienne Leroux. Leroux is also a character in the play. Each character in Slaghuis (2007) experiences similar forms of violence and trauma as is the case in the novel from which the playwright took them. The characters demand that the character Leroux complete their stories and thereby end their fictional existence. Leroux turns down their demands. In an act of literary revenge, they then brutally murder their fictional author in a fictional onstage butchery. In an ironic twist of fate, all (including the fictional author Leroux) realise that they are bound to the person that created them, namely the characters to the novelist Leroux, and the character Leroux to the playwright Anker. Similar to Slaghuis (2007) the representation of violence in Skrapnel (2011) relates to pages taken from other sources, in this case from the internet. Skrapnel (2011) consequently confirms the statement by Brink (2010) that representations of violence in the period are unique "in the way of narrating as such, that is, in the presentation of that content" (original emphasis). The influence of web pages on the plot is critical in the sense that the playwright translated large portions of selected web pages into Afrikaans and included his translations in the text. These web pages contain descriptions of international events marked by extreme violence. Because the events occurred abroad, we may regard the violence depicted in Skrapnel (2011) as examples of global or international violence. The characters touched by the violence, however, are South Africans. Based on real events, the violence represented in the play is of an extreme nature, namely the representation of a terrorist attack on the London Underground in 2005, and the description in the dialogue of two aircraft that deliberately few into two tall buildings in 2001. The representations of the attacks on the London Underground in 2005 and the attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001 provide the backdrop for the relationship between the characters Chris and X. Their relationship develops and terminates in violence characterised by nihilism. The discussion therefore confirms that the conceptual metaphors violence is literary revenge and violence is global terrorism are active in the published plays. For instance, the representation of extreme violence in the two plays shows similarities with the depiction of extreme violence in some British plays, specifically Crave (2001) by Sarah Kane, which was performed for the first time during the last decade of the previous millennium. Anker translated Crave (2001) into Afrikaans as Smag (2008), which suggests that he is familiar with Kane's plays. These similarities primarily relate to the representation of excessive physical (bloody murder of the author in Slaghuis, warlike attacks on civilian targets in Skrapnel) and excessive psychological violence or nihilism in Skrapnel. Representations of extreme forms of violence are not unique to Anker's plays during the decade that his plays were performed for the first time. Prinsloo versus (2009) by Adriaan Meyer and Die kortstondige raklewe van Anastacia W ([nd], meaning the brief shelf life of Anastacia W) by Marlene van Niekerk also demonstrate extremities of violence. Together with Slaghuis (2007) and Skrapnel (2011), Prinsloo versus (2009) and Die kortstondige raklewe van Anastacia W [nd] serve as examples of plays in Afrikaans confirming statements that Brink (2010) made in a Marjorie Wallace/Jan Rabie Memorial Lecture. Brink (2010) then said that "a trail of blood stains our literature". According to Brink (2010), what is new are expressions of "a violence that customarily went further and became more atrocious than even brute colonialism made possible or necessary within every context". <![CDATA[<b>Totius and the standardisation of early modern Afrikaans verbs</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In Afrikaanse diachroniese taalkunde is daar voorheen grotendeels gefokus op die ontstaans-geskiedenis en vroeë ontwikkeling van Afrikaans uit Nederlands. Deur die loop van die twintigste eeu het 'n tradisie van ondersoek ontstaan wat Kaaps-gekleurde tekste in fyn besonderhede ondersoek het, en die stabilisering van Afrikaans so vroeg as die einde van die agtiende eeu gedateer het. Onlangs het hierdie aanname egter kritiek begin ontvang. Daar is aangetoon dat daar tot in die twintigste eeu nog omvangryke variasie in die Afrikaanse skryftaal in persoonlike briewe was (Deumert 2004), en hierdie studie ondersoek die variasie in gepubliseerde skryftaal. Daar word gefokus op die werkwoord, aangesien die verandering van die Nederlandse na die Afrikaanse werkwoordsisteem omvangryk is. Hierdie studie gebruik korpuslinguistiese ondersoekmetodes, en ondersoek die Nederlands-Afrikaanse variasie in werkwoorde in gepubliseerde Afrikaanse tekste aan die hand van drie korpusse. Die korpusse is saamgestel uit al die Afrikaanse bydraes van Totius (J.D. du Toit) in die publikasie Het Kerkblad van 1916 tot 1922, uittreksels uit gepubliseerde Afrikaanse boeke, en uittreksels uit Afrikaanse tydskrifte. Hierdie data wys dat daar in die vroeg-twintigste eeu nog heelwat Nederlands-gekleurde variasie in Afrikaans was, en die korrelasie tussen die korpusse impliseer dat die skryftaal moontlik nader aan die spreektaal was as wat vroeër aangeneem is. Dit word bevestig deur die aandag wat variasie in normatiewe bronne van die tyd geniet het. Die studie toon ook die rol wat Totius as prominente taalgebruiker gespeel het in standaardisering, en iets meer van die dinamiek van die aanvanklike standaardisering van Afrikaans.<hr/>In the diachronie studies of Afrikaans in the past, the focus used to be on the origin and early development of Afrikaans from Dutch. During the twentieth century the philological school, with a tradition of researching all Cape Dutch flavoured texts in detail, was established through the work of J. du P. Scholtz and his students. Through their analyses, they estimated the stabilisation of Afrikaans to have been as early as the end of the eighteenth century (for example Raidt 1991:145; Ponelis 1994:229). In the past few decades, however, this estimation has begun to receive criticism from other scholars, including Roberge (1994:159) and Deumert (2004:20). With the help of a corpus, Deumert (2004) has shown that there is substantial variation in Afrikaans letters as late as the early twentieth century, and this study expands on her work by researching the variation in published writing in the early twentieth century. This is done by focusing on verbs, as there is significant change from the Dutch verbal system to the Afrikaans verbal system. This study uses corpus linguistic research methods, and researches Dutch-Afrikaans variation in verbs in published Afrikaans texts, compiled in three corpora. The main corpus was compiled from all the Afrikaans writings of Totius (J.D. du Toit) in the publication Het Kerkblad from 1916 to 1922. Two control corpora are also used: the first was compiled from excerpts from published Afrikaans books for the same period, and the second was compiled from excerpts from Afrikaans periodicals for the same period. In order to compensate for the shortcomings of corpus data alone, normative works on Afrikaans from the relevant period are also taken into account. The study accounts the recommendations made by these works about the relevant constructions, and how the corpus data correlates with these recommendations. <![CDATA[<b>An introduction and interpretation of Niklas Luhmann's theorising from within communication theory as a field</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Niklas Luhmann word gehuldig as een van die mees fassinerende sosiale teoretici van die 20ste eeu, hoewel geen van sy werke nog binne kommunikasieteorie as 'n studieveld bespreek is nie. Sommige van die radikale stellings wat hy maak, soos dat menslike individue glad nie kan kommunikeer nie, kan dalk verklaar hoekom selfs die mees welbekende teoretici in die veld soos Craig (1999; 2007), Littlejohn en Foss, en Miller (2009) van sy teoretisering wegskram. Die artikel werp 'n blik op Luhmann se intellektuele agtergrond en poog om twee van sy verwarrende aannames te verduidelik, naamlik dat slegs kommunikasie kan kommunikeer en dat kommunikatiewe sisteme totaal en al geslote is. Uiteindelik word sosiale outopoiëse beskryf as 'n moontlike teoretiese raamwerk vir toekomstige studies in kommunikasieteorie as 'n veld.<hr/>Niklas Luhmann has been hailed one of the most fascinating social theorists of the 20th century. His theorising encompasses a broad range of disciplines such as sociology, law, mass media, religion, love, administration, and several others. Most of his approximately 400 journal publications and 50 books have not yet been translated from German into English. Although his work has been discussed extensively by key German-speaking sociologists, his theorising has only recently been applied in other social scientific fields, such as organisational communication, philosophy, and journalism. While the central debate in communication theory has revolved around communication theory not yet being a unified field (Craig 1999; 2007; Russill 2005), Luhmann (1981; 2002) shifts the focus towards the definition of communication itself. Yet his theory of social autopoiesis with communication at its core has not yet been discussed even by the leading communication theorists such as Craig (1999; 2007), Griffin (2011), or Littlejohn and Foss (2011). It may not be surprising that communication scholars seem to ignore Luhmann's theorising when he makes a statement such as: "Human beings cannot communicate; not even their brains can communicate: not even their conscious minds can communicate. Only communication can communicate" (Luhmann 2002:169). This paper presents a brief introduction to and interpretation of Luhmann's theorising about communication in an attempt to clarify some ofthe confusion that seems to surround his work. Itprovides a short overview of his intellectual background and focuses on two particular theoretical challenges in his theorising: 1) that communication systems are completely closed, and 2) that only communication can communicate. Operational closure is described as a concept that was developed within second-order cybernetics by Von Foerster (1970) within a constructivist epistemological framework. Luhmann's social system theory describes society as differentiated by autopoietic operationally closed systems that have evolved over time. He draws a clear distinction between structural functionalism and functional differentiation and offers an explanation for why, in his opinion, social theory has been unable to resolve society's problems. Luhmann's social system theory, based on the biological theory of autopoiesis developed by Maturana and Varela (1980), explains that social systems create themselves through communication and nothing but communication. Luhmann (1986; 1995; 2002) argues that communication comes about through the unity of the synthesis of three selections: information, utterance, and understanding, driven by expectation as a fourth selection. He contends that since there is no explanation for how individuals create communication, and no evidence that understanding is accomplished, communication is an auto poietic process that, in other words, creates itself, and creates social systems in such a process. His exclusion of human action in his theory of communication is controversial and contentious. A closer analysis of his theorising reveals that it resonates well with the theory of the coordinated management of meaning¹ and also with Cilliers's (1998) theorising on complexity. According to Luhmann (1981; 1995) language creates the illusion that people understand each other; he argues that communication itself can be the only unit of analysis. The article concludes that Luhmann's theorising should not be dismissed by communication scholars, and that some of his provocative claims should be explored. While it remains unlikely that communication theory will become a unified field, Luhmann's approach may spark some fruitful conversation. <![CDATA[<b>Living standards</b>: <b>An economic perspective on quality of life in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Teen die agtergrond van plaaslike en internasionale pogings om armoede en ongelykheid uit te wis, fokus hierdie artikel op een onderafdeling van hierdie uitdaging, naamlik die handhawing van lewenstandaarde. Ten opsigte van armoede onder Suid-Afrikaners is die bevindings dat alhoewel absolute armoede as persentasie van die bevolking tussen 1996 tot 2010 afgeneem het, relatiewe armoede slegs 'n marginale daling oor dieselfde tydperk getoon het. Terselfdertyd het Suid-Afrika se Ginikoëffisiënt, wat 'n aanduiding van relatiewe inkomsteverdeling is, sedert 1993 bykans onveranderd gebly. 'n Analise van die groei in die aantal belastingbetalers teenoor die aantal ontvangers (en koste) van sosiale toelaes wat die regering betaal, bring ernstige vrae oor die volhoubaarheid van sosiale en maatskaplike versorging deur middel van belastingverdeling aan die lig. Die artikel lewer ook 'n blik op die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking se ouderdomsprofiel en hul persepsie van aftreevoorsiening. Die vernaamste probleem is 'n verouderende bevolking met onvoldoende aftreevoorsiening. Dit bevestig dat Suid-Afrikaners hul marginale verbruiks- en besparingsgeneigdheid gedurende hul werksloopbane moet hersien om dalende lewenstandaarde na aftrede te voorkom.<hr/>This research provides an economic perspective on living standards in South Africa against the background of domestic and international initiatives to eradicate poverty and inequality. In general living standards and quality of life are multidisciplinary topics in which numerous factors such as medical care and advancements, housing, food resources, etc., also play an integral part. This research makes the assumption that living standards are a prerequisite for quality of life. The methodology is thus to analyse a number of economic indicators often used in the assessment of living standards. As far as poverty amongst South Africans is concerned, the research finds that although absolute poverty decreased as a percentage of the population between 1996 to 2010, relative poverty decreased only marginally over the same period. Absolute poverty is measured as the number of people living on less than US$2 per day, and this share of the population decreased from 12,1% in 1996 to 5,0% in 2010. Relative poverty takes into account factors such as cost of living as well as the size of the household. Relative poverty recorded a marginal decrease from 40,6 % of the population in 1996 to 39,9% in 2010, and was therefore not as pronounced as the decrease in absolute poverty. Income distribution can be assessed using the Gini-coefficient, which compares the cumulative percentage of income earned by various cumulative percentages of the population. Income distribution in South Africa has improved only marginally since 1993, as indicated by Gini-coefficient readings of 0,67, 0,68 and 0,66for the years 1993, 2000 and 2008, respectively. This implies that despite the government's various poverty reduction measures, income distribution still remains stubbornly skewed. South Africa's government revenue will be an estimated R800 billion (excluding non-tax revenue and SACU payments) during the 2012/13 financial year. The main sources of revenue are personal income tax (R295bn. or 34,6% of the total), value added tax (R209 bn. or 25,4%) and company tax (R166 bn. or 20,3%). The number of tax payers per category is around 6 177 050 individuals, 2 078 182 companies and 326 649 trusts. A closer analysis of the personal income tax category indicates that 72,9% of this item is paid by individuals earning less than R260 000 per year, while 95,5% is paid by individuals earning less than R600 001 per year. As for the division of state revenue, social development will receive an estimated R112bn. during 2012/13, of which the bulk will be allocated to the social assistance (R104bn) sub category. Around 16,1 million South Africans currently (2012/13) receive some form of grant, with the biggest categories (by numbers) of recipients receiving the child support grant (11,3 million) and the old age grant (2,7 million). The number of personal income taxpayers increased on average by 4,4% between 2008 to 2012. Compared to this, the number of grants paid rose by 5,3% during the same period. More alarming is the cost of these grants (social assistance payments) which rose by an average 10,4% over the period. These large short term discrepancies raise serious questions about the sustainability of these items in the long term. The South African population rose from 5,9 million people in 1911, to 40,5 million in 1996, while Stats SA estimates that there were 50,6 million people during mid-2011. The population growth rate indicates some deceleration from around 2,2% per annum during the 1990s to a growth rate of 1,3% per annum, for the period 2007 to 2012. The age profile of all South Africans indicates a clear pyramid shape, with the age groups between 0-19 years forming the base of the pyramid. Despite this, the South African population is showing signs of aging. In 2010 around 5,6% of the South African population was 65 years or older, placing the country in the "mature/] intermediate" category. Projections are that by 2020 more than 7,6% of the population will be 65years or older which will justify a reclassification to "old". As far as life expectancy is concerned, the Actuarial Society of South Africa and the Institute for Future Research estimated values of 58,2 and 50,8 years, respectively, for 2010. Both of these entities expect life expectancy to improve, with estimates of 59,1 and 51,3 years, respectively, for 2025. The research indicates that a large burden of financial support to the greater economy is being placed on the shoulders of the middle income class in South Africa. This burden, rather than job creation, eradicated absolute poverty. Adding to this is the need for sufficient retirement planning, which currently seems to be left somewhat to faith. South Africans in general, and the middle income group especially, have to realign their consumption and expenditure trends during their working lives, to limit a decrease in living standards (and thus quality of life) post retirement. <![CDATA[<b>Die kuberruimte - voordele en nadele</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Teen die agtergrond van plaaslike en internasionale pogings om armoede en ongelykheid uit te wis, fokus hierdie artikel op een onderafdeling van hierdie uitdaging, naamlik die handhawing van lewenstandaarde. Ten opsigte van armoede onder Suid-Afrikaners is die bevindings dat alhoewel absolute armoede as persentasie van die bevolking tussen 1996 tot 2010 afgeneem het, relatiewe armoede slegs 'n marginale daling oor dieselfde tydperk getoon het. Terselfdertyd het Suid-Afrika se Ginikoëffisiënt, wat 'n aanduiding van relatiewe inkomsteverdeling is, sedert 1993 bykans onveranderd gebly. 'n Analise van die groei in die aantal belastingbetalers teenoor die aantal ontvangers (en koste) van sosiale toelaes wat die regering betaal, bring ernstige vrae oor die volhoubaarheid van sosiale en maatskaplike versorging deur middel van belastingverdeling aan die lig. Die artikel lewer ook 'n blik op die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking se ouderdomsprofiel en hul persepsie van aftreevoorsiening. Die vernaamste probleem is 'n verouderende bevolking met onvoldoende aftreevoorsiening. Dit bevestig dat Suid-Afrikaners hul marginale verbruiks- en besparingsgeneigdheid gedurende hul werksloopbane moet hersien om dalende lewenstandaarde na aftrede te voorkom.<hr/>This research provides an economic perspective on living standards in South Africa against the background of domestic and international initiatives to eradicate poverty and inequality. In general living standards and quality of life are multidisciplinary topics in which numerous factors such as medical care and advancements, housing, food resources, etc., also play an integral part. This research makes the assumption that living standards are a prerequisite for quality of life. The methodology is thus to analyse a number of economic indicators often used in the assessment of living standards. As far as poverty amongst South Africans is concerned, the research finds that although absolute poverty decreased as a percentage of the population between 1996 to 2010, relative poverty decreased only marginally over the same period. Absolute poverty is measured as the number of people living on less than US$2 per day, and this share of the population decreased from 12,1% in 1996 to 5,0% in 2010. Relative poverty takes into account factors such as cost of living as well as the size of the household. Relative poverty recorded a marginal decrease from 40,6 % of the population in 1996 to 39,9% in 2010, and was therefore not as pronounced as the decrease in absolute poverty. Income distribution can be assessed using the Gini-coefficient, which compares the cumulative percentage of income earned by various cumulative percentages of the population. Income distribution in South Africa has improved only marginally since 1993, as indicated by Gini-coefficient readings of 0,67, 0,68 and 0,66for the years 1993, 2000 and 2008, respectively. This implies that despite the government's various poverty reduction measures, income distribution still remains stubbornly skewed. South Africa's government revenue will be an estimated R800 billion (excluding non-tax revenue and SACU payments) during the 2012/13 financial year. The main sources of revenue are personal income tax (R295bn. or 34,6% of the total), value added tax (R209 bn. or 25,4%) and company tax (R166 bn. or 20,3%). The number of tax payers per category is around 6 177 050 individuals, 2 078 182 companies and 326 649 trusts. A closer analysis of the personal income tax category indicates that 72,9% of this item is paid by individuals earning less than R260 000 per year, while 95,5% is paid by individuals earning less than R600 001 per year. As for the division of state revenue, social development will receive an estimated R112bn. during 2012/13, of which the bulk will be allocated to the social assistance (R104bn) sub category. Around 16,1 million South Africans currently (2012/13) receive some form of grant, with the biggest categories (by numbers) of recipients receiving the child support grant (11,3 million) and the old age grant (2,7 million). The number of personal income taxpayers increased on average by 4,4% between 2008 to 2012. Compared to this, the number of grants paid rose by 5,3% during the same period. More alarming is the cost of these grants (social assistance payments) which rose by an average 10,4% over the period. These large short term discrepancies raise serious questions about the sustainability of these items in the long term. The South African population rose from 5,9 million people in 1911, to 40,5 million in 1996, while Stats SA estimates that there were 50,6 million people during mid-2011. The population growth rate indicates some deceleration from around 2,2% per annum during the 1990s to a growth rate of 1,3% per annum, for the period 2007 to 2012. The age profile of all South Africans indicates a clear pyramid shape, with the age groups between 0-19 years forming the base of the pyramid. Despite this, the South African population is showing signs of aging. In 2010 around 5,6% of the South African population was 65 years or older, placing the country in the "mature/] intermediate" category. Projections are that by 2020 more than 7,6% of the population will be 65years or older which will justify a reclassification to "old". As far as life expectancy is concerned, the Actuarial Society of South Africa and the Institute for Future Research estimated values of 58,2 and 50,8 years, respectively, for 2010. Both of these entities expect life expectancy to improve, with estimates of 59,1 and 51,3 years, respectively, for 2025. The research indicates that a large burden of financial support to the greater economy is being placed on the shoulders of the middle income class in South Africa. This burden, rather than job creation, eradicated absolute poverty. Adding to this is the need for sufficient retirement planning, which currently seems to be left somewhat to faith. South Africans in general, and the middle income group especially, have to realign their consumption and expenditure trends during their working lives, to limit a decrease in living standards (and thus quality of life) post retirement. <![CDATA[<b>Een grote glimlach op Schiphol</b>: <b>De Afrikaanse literatuur in Nederland in 2012</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Teen die agtergrond van plaaslike en internasionale pogings om armoede en ongelykheid uit te wis, fokus hierdie artikel op een onderafdeling van hierdie uitdaging, naamlik die handhawing van lewenstandaarde. Ten opsigte van armoede onder Suid-Afrikaners is die bevindings dat alhoewel absolute armoede as persentasie van die bevolking tussen 1996 tot 2010 afgeneem het, relatiewe armoede slegs 'n marginale daling oor dieselfde tydperk getoon het. Terselfdertyd het Suid-Afrika se Ginikoëffisiënt, wat 'n aanduiding van relatiewe inkomsteverdeling is, sedert 1993 bykans onveranderd gebly. 'n Analise van die groei in die aantal belastingbetalers teenoor die aantal ontvangers (en koste) van sosiale toelaes wat die regering betaal, bring ernstige vrae oor die volhoubaarheid van sosiale en maatskaplike versorging deur middel van belastingverdeling aan die lig. Die artikel lewer ook 'n blik op die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking se ouderdomsprofiel en hul persepsie van aftreevoorsiening. Die vernaamste probleem is 'n verouderende bevolking met onvoldoende aftreevoorsiening. Dit bevestig dat Suid-Afrikaners hul marginale verbruiks- en besparingsgeneigdheid gedurende hul werksloopbane moet hersien om dalende lewenstandaarde na aftrede te voorkom.<hr/>This research provides an economic perspective on living standards in South Africa against the background of domestic and international initiatives to eradicate poverty and inequality. In general living standards and quality of life are multidisciplinary topics in which numerous factors such as medical care and advancements, housing, food resources, etc., also play an integral part. This research makes the assumption that living standards are a prerequisite for quality of life. The methodology is thus to analyse a number of economic indicators often used in the assessment of living standards. As far as poverty amongst South Africans is concerned, the research finds that although absolute poverty decreased as a percentage of the population between 1996 to 2010, relative poverty decreased only marginally over the same period. Absolute poverty is measured as the number of people living on less than US$2 per day, and this share of the population decreased from 12,1% in 1996 to 5,0% in 2010. Relative poverty takes into account factors such as cost of living as well as the size of the household. Relative poverty recorded a marginal decrease from 40,6 % of the population in 1996 to 39,9% in 2010, and was therefore not as pronounced as the decrease in absolute poverty. Income distribution can be assessed using the Gini-coefficient, which compares the cumulative percentage of income earned by various cumulative percentages of the population. Income distribution in South Africa has improved only marginally since 1993, as indicated by Gini-coefficient readings of 0,67, 0,68 and 0,66for the years 1993, 2000 and 2008, respectively. This implies that despite the government's various poverty reduction measures, income distribution still remains stubbornly skewed. South Africa's government revenue will be an estimated R800 billion (excluding non-tax revenue and SACU payments) during the 2012/13 financial year. The main sources of revenue are personal income tax (R295bn. or 34,6% of the total), value added tax (R209 bn. or 25,4%) and company tax (R166 bn. or 20,3%). The number of tax payers per category is around 6 177 050 individuals, 2 078 182 companies and 326 649 trusts. A closer analysis of the personal income tax category indicates that 72,9% of this item is paid by individuals earning less than R260 000 per year, while 95,5% is paid by individuals earning less than R600 001 per year. As for the division of state revenue, social development will receive an estimated R112bn. during 2012/13, of which the bulk will be allocated to the social assistance (R104bn) sub category. Around 16,1 million South Africans currently (2012/13) receive some form of grant, with the biggest categories (by numbers) of recipients receiving the child support grant (11,3 million) and the old age grant (2,7 million). The number of personal income taxpayers increased on average by 4,4% between 2008 to 2012. Compared to this, the number of grants paid rose by 5,3% during the same period. More alarming is the cost of these grants (social assistance payments) which rose by an average 10,4% over the period. These large short term discrepancies raise serious questions about the sustainability of these items in the long term. The South African population rose from 5,9 million people in 1911, to 40,5 million in 1996, while Stats SA estimates that there were 50,6 million people during mid-2011. The population growth rate indicates some deceleration from around 2,2% per annum during the 1990s to a growth rate of 1,3% per annum, for the period 2007 to 2012. The age profile of all South Africans indicates a clear pyramid shape, with the age groups between 0-19 years forming the base of the pyramid. Despite this, the South African population is showing signs of aging. In 2010 around 5,6% of the South African population was 65 years or older, placing the country in the "mature/] intermediate" category. Projections are that by 2020 more than 7,6% of the population will be 65years or older which will justify a reclassification to "old". As far as life expectancy is concerned, the Actuarial Society of South Africa and the Institute for Future Research estimated values of 58,2 and 50,8 years, respectively, for 2010. Both of these entities expect life expectancy to improve, with estimates of 59,1 and 51,3 years, respectively, for 2025. The research indicates that a large burden of financial support to the greater economy is being placed on the shoulders of the middle income class in South Africa. This burden, rather than job creation, eradicated absolute poverty. Adding to this is the need for sufficient retirement planning, which currently seems to be left somewhat to faith. South Africans in general, and the middle income group especially, have to realign their consumption and expenditure trends during their working lives, to limit a decrease in living standards (and thus quality of life) post retirement. <![CDATA[<b><i>So kry ons Afrikaans</i></b> <b>(2012) <i>-</i> Christo van Rensburg</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000100010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Teen die agtergrond van plaaslike en internasionale pogings om armoede en ongelykheid uit te wis, fokus hierdie artikel op een onderafdeling van hierdie uitdaging, naamlik die handhawing van lewenstandaarde. Ten opsigte van armoede onder Suid-Afrikaners is die bevindings dat alhoewel absolute armoede as persentasie van die bevolking tussen 1996 tot 2010 afgeneem het, relatiewe armoede slegs 'n marginale daling oor dieselfde tydperk getoon het. Terselfdertyd het Suid-Afrika se Ginikoëffisiënt, wat 'n aanduiding van relatiewe inkomsteverdeling is, sedert 1993 bykans onveranderd gebly. 'n Analise van die groei in die aantal belastingbetalers teenoor die aantal ontvangers (en koste) van sosiale toelaes wat die regering betaal, bring ernstige vrae oor die volhoubaarheid van sosiale en maatskaplike versorging deur middel van belastingverdeling aan die lig. Die artikel lewer ook 'n blik op die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking se ouderdomsprofiel en hul persepsie van aftreevoorsiening. Die vernaamste probleem is 'n verouderende bevolking met onvoldoende aftreevoorsiening. Dit bevestig dat Suid-Afrikaners hul marginale verbruiks- en besparingsgeneigdheid gedurende hul werksloopbane moet hersien om dalende lewenstandaarde na aftrede te voorkom.<hr/>This research provides an economic perspective on living standards in South Africa against the background of domestic and international initiatives to eradicate poverty and inequality. In general living standards and quality of life are multidisciplinary topics in which numerous factors such as medical care and advancements, housing, food resources, etc., also play an integral part. This research makes the assumption that living standards are a prerequisite for quality of life. The methodology is thus to analyse a number of economic indicators often used in the assessment of living standards. As far as poverty amongst South Africans is concerned, the research finds that although absolute poverty decreased as a percentage of the population between 1996 to 2010, relative poverty decreased only marginally over the same period. Absolute poverty is measured as the number of people living on less than US$2 per day, and this share of the population decreased from 12,1% in 1996 to 5,0% in 2010. Relative poverty takes into account factors such as cost of living as well as the size of the household. Relative poverty recorded a marginal decrease from 40,6 % of the population in 1996 to 39,9% in 2010, and was therefore not as pronounced as the decrease in absolute poverty. Income distribution can be assessed using the Gini-coefficient, which compares the cumulative percentage of income earned by various cumulative percentages of the population. Income distribution in South Africa has improved only marginally since 1993, as indicated by Gini-coefficient readings of 0,67, 0,68 and 0,66for the years 1993, 2000 and 2008, respectively. This implies that despite the government's various poverty reduction measures, income distribution still remains stubbornly skewed. South Africa's government revenue will be an estimated R800 billion (excluding non-tax revenue and SACU payments) during the 2012/13 financial year. The main sources of revenue are personal income tax (R295bn. or 34,6% of the total), value added tax (R209 bn. or 25,4%) and company tax (R166 bn. or 20,3%). The number of tax payers per category is around 6 177 050 individuals, 2 078 182 companies and 326 649 trusts. A closer analysis of the personal income tax category indicates that 72,9% of this item is paid by individuals earning less than R260 000 per year, while 95,5% is paid by individuals earning less than R600 001 per year. As for the division of state revenue, social development will receive an estimated R112bn. during 2012/13, of which the bulk will be allocated to the social assistance (R104bn) sub category. Around 16,1 million South Africans currently (2012/13) receive some form of grant, with the biggest categories (by numbers) of recipients receiving the child support grant (11,3 million) and the old age grant (2,7 million). The number of personal income taxpayers increased on average by 4,4% between 2008 to 2012. Compared to this, the number of grants paid rose by 5,3% during the same period. More alarming is the cost of these grants (social assistance payments) which rose by an average 10,4% over the period. These large short term discrepancies raise serious questions about the sustainability of these items in the long term. The South African population rose from 5,9 million people in 1911, to 40,5 million in 1996, while Stats SA estimates that there were 50,6 million people during mid-2011. The population growth rate indicates some deceleration from around 2,2% per annum during the 1990s to a growth rate of 1,3% per annum, for the period 2007 to 2012. The age profile of all South Africans indicates a clear pyramid shape, with the age groups between 0-19 years forming the base of the pyramid. Despite this, the South African population is showing signs of aging. In 2010 around 5,6% of the South African population was 65 years or older, placing the country in the "mature/] intermediate" category. Projections are that by 2020 more than 7,6% of the population will be 65years or older which will justify a reclassification to "old". As far as life expectancy is concerned, the Actuarial Society of South Africa and the Institute for Future Research estimated values of 58,2 and 50,8 years, respectively, for 2010. Both of these entities expect life expectancy to improve, with estimates of 59,1 and 51,3 years, respectively, for 2025. The research indicates that a large burden of financial support to the greater economy is being placed on the shoulders of the middle income class in South Africa. This burden, rather than job creation, eradicated absolute poverty. Adding to this is the need for sufficient retirement planning, which currently seems to be left somewhat to faith. South Africans in general, and the middle income group especially, have to realign their consumption and expenditure trends during their working lives, to limit a decrease in living standards (and thus quality of life) post retirement.