- 1984. National Sanlam Prize for South African Poetry: A Modern Perspective
- 1996. University of Natal Book Prize for Southern African Literatures
- 1997. Bill Venter Prize -- South Africa's premier award for academic writing -- for Southern African Literatures
- 2006. University of KwaZulu-Natal Book Prize for Art Talk, Politics Talk
- Research Fellow of the University
- National Research Foundation A-rated scientist, 2003-2007; retained 2008-2012; retained 2013-2018.
- English Academy of Southern Africa Medal for Service to English Studies.
- Editor-in-Chief, Current Writing.
- 2013. University of KwaZulu-Natal Book Prize for SA Lit: Beyond 2000 (co-edited with Margaret Lenta).
- 2018. Human Sciences Research Council Medal for Social Sciences and Humanities