We today live in a society where every time one opens a newspaper, the pages are brimming with heinous and horrible acts of human brutality and the worst kind of moral paralysis. The 3rd Quarter Crime Statistics by the South African Police Service expose the continuing decay of South African society. Within the South African society, Gender-based Violence and Femicide continue to be a pandemic within the society. Furthermore, bribery, nepotism and undue favouritism are examples of corruption in the country, as is the improper use of public resources for private gain. When looking for examples of the latter, one needs to look no further than the revelations that emanated from the State Capture Commission.  Moreover, scandals such as the recent Dubai porta potty scandal that has been making rounds on social media depict a picture of a society that has depleted its moral fibre, where less fortunate females involve themselves in what can be classified as gruesome acts all in the name of generating money. This inculcates itself in the manifestation of various social ills those already mentioned and such as the “blesser” lifestyle.  The obsession with economic growth blinds people from focusing on some of the issues that matter such as morality and social development. The pursuit of personal wealth at all costs has corroded the moral fibre of society.  This has damped the African social ethos of Ubuntu. The understanding of Ubuntu is best articulated by Sifile, Okay and Desderio (2016) as an African code of ethics that embraces warmth, hospitality, and generosity that is centered on caring and sharing for one another.


As stated previously various ills are affecting our society which questions its morality in achieving a better life for all. We must take stock of that which has caused a moral decay in our society and seek to provide critical contributions that will address the cause of the decay of morality in our society. Critical to addressing the decay of morality in society is to tackle the issue of social justice. Through addressing social justice, we must also be cognisant of the need to ensure social cohesion within our society.  We must ask ourselves what role does social justice contribute in tackling the moral decay of our society? Would this therefore mean that there is a correlation between the reconfiguration of the moral decay of society and that of social justice? Moreover, how reconstruct the decaying moral fibre in our society? In addition, how do we factor in Ubuntu and embrace diversity in reconstructing the moral fibre of society? These questions formulate our thinking on the issue of reconstructing the moral fibre of society. Fundamentally, how do we deal with all the various complexities that challenge and contribute to the reconstruction of the moral fibre of society? We must critically examine how we address the aspect of those within our society who are hellbent and benefit from the decaying moral fibre of the society.


As universities are a microcosm of society, we must evaluate their contribution to the social ethos that governs our society. Are universities contributing adequately to the contraction of the moral standing of society or have they stood in the shadow as observers of a decaying society without making a meaningful contribution. Within the context of universities being a microcosm of society, their role as being in service to society has truly ensured the realisation of an ethical society that produces a youth that is conscious of ethical behaviour within the society. Moreover, how do we ensure youth development founded on the principles of moral society enshrined within African philosophy and natured within the values of “Umntu ngumntu ngabantu”.   It becomes vital for universities and other stakeholders within the society to seek to inculcate a value system in society in line with a social compact that seeks to promote a better life for all by rooting out all that seeks to damage the ethos of a fruitful society, this ought to be the drive of youth development.


Panellist Focus Areas

Ms Jackie Phamotse

Morality and social development

A background of the challenges associated with morality and social development must be addressed by the speaker. Moreover, the speaker is to focus on the complexities of morality and social development, this includes tackling the question of social mobility and morality. The speaker should address how social ills of our society impede on the morality of society and that of ensuring a developmental state. Furthermore, focus must be on the role of youth in contrasting a moral society with focus on South Africa and the broader African continent. In addition, focus can be given to how corruption, gender-based violence and other social ills hinder on ensuring a prosperous society.


Ms. Insaaf Isaacs

Creating a social compact encompassing fruitful development

The speaker should focus on the role of the creation of a social compact that champions a moral society towards the development of a prosperous South Africa and the greater African continent. The speaker should focus on the relevance of the social contract within the modern society does it take consider the evolution of our society. Furthermore, explore the relevance of the rainbow nation narrative within the South Africa context, its role in the construction of a moral society that cascades towards ensuring a developmental society. What ought to be the role of the social partners within our society in ensuring the creation of a moral society within the 21st century in South Africa? In addition, to exam the role of youth within the creation of a social compact that enforces a moral society.


Mr. Karabo Maiyane

Creating an ethical society embedded in African value system

It is important to rethink what constitute the African value for intergeneration in the mist of Eurocentric approaches which seek to dominate African society. The morale fibre of African education is always distorted through an approach of using Eurocentric pedagogy this has been observed to be eroding the African indigenous knowledge system. The fundamental question is how do we rescue African values and its philosophical values in the context of change in society to adapt Eurocentric approaches to comprehend knowledge systems. The new generation of youth have also paid rather less attention to understand what their value system means; this phenomenon has destroyed the narrative of interrupting knowledge system that is not relevant to the need of the society and therefore it has created a phenomenon where education seen to be for public good. Building African knowledge enterprise assists in creating and shaping human capital that is conscious of their own identity and posture it to the global competitiveness. In this regard the speaker must poke issues that are relevant to African value system that embody an ethical society.


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