This article depicts the state of Humanities in post-apartheid South Africa by examining HEMIS
enrolment and graduation data from 1999 to 2007. It demonstrates that although the decline
in student enrolment and graduation in Humanities has not been severe; read in the context
of substantial growth of all other disciplines, Humanities is in a crisis. The crisis is also more
notable at undergraduate level. An interdisciplinary analysis of four traditional Humanities
disciplines demonstrates that history, languages, linguistics and literature are the hardest hit.
On the other hand, there is an evident increase in Arts (visual and performing) a discipline often
associated with the potential for fame and wealth. Communication, journalism and related
studies, a professional arm of the traditional Humanities discipline of Language, is also thriving.
We are of the view that this trend may confirm the perception that the rising tide of consumerism
underpins the overall decline in the popularity of the study of Humanities.