In this New York Times editorial, writer Sisonke Msimang examines the state of post-apartheid political order in South Africa. He argues that there is a “new spirit of revolt” among the public, with many civil society groups questioning President Jacob Zuma’s ability to effectively govern.
I thought this piece was quite interesting as it warns against complacency and pushes back against the traditional narrative of “South African exceptionalism.” It moreover makes me question whether the national election of 2019 will be the most competitive in the country’s democratic history.
Overall, this piece grapples with a central theme in this course: inclusive development. South Africa, like so many other African states, retains socio-economic institutions that serve the few, rather than the many. While racial barriers have been knocked down, democracy remains exclusive, with the new black middle class increasingly viewing the African National Congress (ANC) as corrupt.
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