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After Apartheid

After Apartheid: Reinventing South Africa?

Ian Shapiro
Kahreen Tebeau
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 384
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  • Book Info
    After Apartheid
    Book Description:

    Democracy came to South Africa in April 1994, when the African National Congress won a landslide victory in the first free national election in the country's history. That definitive and peaceful transition from apartheid is often cited as a model for others to follow. The new order has since survived several transitions of ANC leadership, and it averted a potentially destabilizing constitutional crisis in 2008. Yet enormous challenges remain. Poverty and inequality are among the highest in the world. Staggering unemployment has fueled xenophobia, resulting in deadly aggression directed at refugees and migrant workers from Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Violent crime rates, particularly murder and rape, remain grotesquely high. The HIV/AIDS pandemic was shockingly mishandled at the highest levels of government, and infection rates continue to be overwhelming. Despite the country's uplifting success of hosting Africa's first World Cup in 2010, inefficiency and corruption remain rife, infrastructure and basic services are often semifunctional, and political opposition and a free media are under pressure.

    In this volume, major scholars chronicle South Africa's achievements and challenges since the transition. The contributions, all previously unpublished, represent the state of the art in the study of South African politics, economics, law, and social policy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8139-3101-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)
    Ian Shapiro and Kahreen Tebeau

    The new South Africa is a teenager. It seems only yesterday it was a miraculous young life, an infant bubbling with promise. How could one overstate the hope and enthusiasm that accompanied its improbable birth? Millions throughout the country and around the world cheered as long lines of first-time voters queued patiently for hours over those three days in late April 1994 to legitimate the peaceful transition from apartheid and select their first democratic government. The process has now been repeated in enough national, regional, and local elections that it has come to seem routine, yet it was a dream...

  4. PART I Politics and the Macroeconomy

    • Poverty and Inequality in South Africa, 1994–2007
      (pp. 21-51)
      Jeremy Seekings

      The first three governments led by the African National Congress (ANC) after 1994 had only modest success in tackling the challenges of poverty and inequality they inherited from the apartheid era. While the expansion of the welfare state has mitigated income poverty, especially in the early 2000s, the economy has continued to grow along a path that is unfriendly to the poor. This situation has resulted from the retention of key elements of the “distributional regime” of the apartheid period, in particular policies that favored capital-and skill-intensive growth despite chronic unemployment.

      Democratic South Africa inherited income poverty that was low...

    • Black Economic Empowerment since 1994: Diverse Hopes and Differentially Fulfilled Aspirations
      (pp. 52-71)
      Anthony Butler

      The fuller participation of black South Africans in the formal economy has been a central aspiration of African National Congress (ANC) policymakers since 1994. The government’s current “broad-based black economic empowerment” (BBBEE) strategy is a response to the widely criticized elite enrichment that purportedly marked the first phase of black economic empowerment (BEE). BBBEE aims to increase the ownership, management, and control of businesses by black citizens, and especially by women. It also seeks to support the emergence of new skills and small businesses, to make finance more readily accessible to black entrepreneurs, and to use “preferential procurement” by the...

    • Forging Democrats: A Partial Success Story?
      (pp. 72-104)
      Robert Mattes

      To describe the African National Congress (ANC) as an ambitious political movement is a massive understatement. Presented with a highly fractured society characterized by high levels of disempowerment, inequality, and destitution, the ANC set out in 1994 to forge unity around a new national identity and a common constitutional dispensation. It proposed to provide dignity and freedom to the previously oppressed through economic empowerment, but also by providing political rights and liberties and by enabling people to participate in political and economic decision making. It sought to end minority control and privilege, politically through the introduction of representative majoritarian democratic...

    • The Business Community after Apartheid and Beyond: An Analysis of Business’s Engagement in the Second Decade of Democracy
      (pp. 105-135)
      Theuns Eloff

      The subprime mortgage lending crisis that emerged in the United States during 2007 created the worst economic crisis in the world in 2008, and the first economic recession in South Africa in seventeen years in 2009. The recession was formally announced by Statistics South Africa during the same month, April 2009, that President Zuma was sworn in as the third president of a democratic South Africa. Despite all the good political intentions of the Zuma presidency, the economy will be his greatest challenge, linked to his relationship to business in general, while his political allies sing leftist and labor power...

    • Macroeconomic Policy and Its Governance after Apartheid
      (pp. 136-178)
      Janine Aron

      The last decade and a half have been notable for South Africa’s greater integration with the international economy, domestic political stability, and the gains made in the governance and stability of macroeconomic policymaking. This essay reviews the institutional changes that have aligned the conduct of monetary and fiscal policy closely with recent international practices designed for more transparent, credible, and accountable policy and operating over a longer horizon. It also evaluates the significant improvements in fiscal and monetary performance—remarkable given the initial conditions faced by the postapartheid government and a volatile external economic environment. These gains are likely to...

  5. PART II Health and Social Welfare

    • AIDS Policy in Postapartheid South Africa
      (pp. 181-198)
      Nicoli Nattrass

      AIDS policy is one of the most notorious features of postapartheid South Africa. In 1990, when the ban against the African National Congress (ANC) was lifted and South Africa began the transition to democracy, HIV prevalence was less than half a percent, but rising rapidly. ANC military commander Chris Hani warned at the time that if left unattended, AIDS would “result in untold damage and suffering by the end of the century” (quoted in Thom and Cullinan 2004). Unfortunately, his dire prediction came true: by 2009 almost one in five adults was infected with HIV. Although it would have been...

    • The Role of Social and Economic Rights in Supporting Opposition in Postapartheid South Africa
      (pp. 199-230)
      Lauren Paremoer and Courtney Jung

      In 1995, Courtney Jung and Ian Shapiro published an article about South Africa’s democratic transition.¹ In it they argued that South Africa’s negotiated settlement had yielded a constitution that was more focused on guaranteeing representation for minority whites than on entrenching opposition. The interim constitution included power-sharing clauses that reserved seats in the executive branch for all of the major parties and had very weak mechanisms for ensuring a strong institutionalized opposition, either from minority parties or from dissenting back-benchers within the major parties. Jung and Shapiro argued that a strong institutionalized opposition was the key to a healthy democracy,...

  6. PART III The Rule of Law

    • The Pasts and Future of the Rule of Law in South Africa
      (pp. 233-268)
      David Dyzenhaus

      In 1996, the constitution of the Republic of South Africa marked the beginning of a new era in South African law (sec. 1(c)). It lists among the founding values of the new republic the “supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law” and, while it entrenches standard liberal rights and freedoms, it also goes well beyond. For example, it gives a right to fair labor practices, to an environment that is not harmful to health, to adequate housing, and to just administrative action (secs. 23(1), 24(a), 26(1), 33(1)).

      The sections that entrench socioeconomic rights—for example, the right to...

    • Anticorruption Reforms in Democratic South Africa
      (pp. 269-293)
      Marianne Camerer

      Weeks before South Africa’s fourth democratic election, acting National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Mokotedi Mpshe announced on 6 April 2009 that all charges of corruption against African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma would be dropped: “I have come to the difficult conclusion that it is neither possible nor desirable for the NPA to continue with the prosecution.”¹ While the timing may have raised some eyebrows, this “difficult conclusion” allowed South Africa’s new president to take up the reins of office without the indignity of corruption charges hanging over his head.

      The corruption charges against President Zuma stemmed from an...

    • The Land Question: Exploring Obstacles to Land Redistribution in South Africa
      (pp. 294-308)
      Lungisile Ntsebeza

      The gradual conversion of a large number of the indigenous people of presentday South Africa into wage laborers, particularly after the discovery of minerals in the latter part of the nineteenth century (see Bundy 1988; Mafeje 1988), has led to a peculiar situation in which the land question in South Africa has been marginalized. Yet, compared with the situation in other countries on the African continent, the extent of land plunder in South Africa was extraordinary. The Natives Land Act of 1913 was the first major legislative attempt on the part of colonialists to grab a substantial amount of the...

  7. PART IV Language and Media

    • After Apartheid: The Language Question
      (pp. 311-331)
      Neville Alexander

      In their book,Writing Science: Literacy and Discursive Power,Halliday and Martin (1993, 10) state what ought to be obvious, but for the fact that most of us never think about language as an issue in our societies. They write, “The history of humanity is not only a history of socio-economic activity. It is also a history of semiotic activity.”

      In South Africa, where race has been the main ideological prism through which people have perceived their realities, this insight has tended to be ignored even by intellectuals working in the social sciences. However, although the racial fault line was...

    • Contested Media Environments in South Africa: The Making of Communications Policy since 1994
      (pp. 332-360)
      Guy Berger

      The democratic transition in South Africa has seen complex developments over who controls communications. Unlike the apartheid era of racist state control, aspirations for a nonracial and pluralistic landscape have largely been fulfilled. However, during the democratic period, there has been increased involvement by government in communications policymaking, and a decline in participatory opportunities and processes. This situation reflects the government’s desire to steer communications for reasons that are professedly “transformational,” in the sense of deepening nonracialism, democracy, or development (even if in effect not always such), and also sometimes politically self-serving.

      In overview, the postapartheid government’s commitment to a...

  8. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 361-362)
  9. Index
    (pp. 363-376)