Since 1995 ARCSA has been instrumental in driving this message home by hosting a series of meetings, the results of which have been, firstly, to bring rhetoricians out of their home departments; and, secondly, to delocalize rhetoric and bring colleagues from the wider Sub-Saharan region to ARCSA.
In 1994 ARCSA met first to reflect on 'power and persuasion', imbued with the peaceful exercise in political rhetoric that marked the end of apartheid.
In this light, ARCSA represents an aggressive stance in advocating rhetoric at universities.
At ARCSA we think that if the three-prong approach in training citizens--literacy, numeracy, rhetoric--can be circumvented in strong western democracies, where the possibility always exists for graduates to look 'in the world out there' for further training, in emerging democracies and transforming societies rhetoricians have a singular task.
In South Africa, where ARCSA has its mainstay, such a challenge has been taken up, by introducing at the University of Cape Town an MPhil in rhetoric studies, the first one of its kind on this continent.
Besides holding a range of meetings focusing on the events described, ARCSA has in the past few years hosted some 16 Fellows who share its concerns, sought funding from appropriate institutions, organized a system of student internships, encouraged a form of community service under which members give workshops to legislative bodies, established international links with a number of bodies, and embarked upon a publishing programme.