South Africa: 'Institutional Racism' to Blame for Exclusion of Black Female Academics, Ministerial Report Finds


On Wednesday, the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation released a report on the recruitment, retention and advancement of black academics, which found that black females are still underrepresented in academia. This is while heated debate continues over institutional racism after an 'offensive' academic paper was published by UCT economics professor Nicoli Nattrass this year.

On Wednesday 8 July, the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation released a Ministerial Task Team (MTT) Report on the Recruitment, Retention and Progression of Black South African Academics.

Minister Blade Nzimande launched the report during a briefing on the phased return of students to tertiary institutions under lockdown Level 3.

Of the 20 recommendations put forth in the document, the need to tackle "institutional and individual racism and sexism" was cited as "most important".

"Universities must interrogate how institutional cultures and traditional practices may be creating alienating environments that intentionally or unintentionally work to exclude, and put proactive measures in place to address this," the report read.

In 2017, Nzimande appointed the five-person ministerial task team chaired by Professor David Mosoma, former vice-chancellor at the University of South Africa (Unisa) and including Dr Bulumko Msengana, Dr Thandi Mgwebi, Professor Sarah Mosoetsa and...

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