Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Is SA's Democratic Honeymoon Over?
My new Thought Leader article is up, discussing converging trends which are putting unprecedented pressure on our somewhat optimistic 1994 democratic principles:
I’m increasingly feeling that 2007 will be remembered as a seminal year in South African post-apartheid politics. It is shaping up to be a watershed year. I recently discussed the African National Congress’s 2007 as an annus horribilis, but it’s wider than the party. I think 2007 will go down as the year that South Africa’s honeymoon trust in democracy falters, and debate begins on how to test the boundaries of governance. Before I continue, let me be clear, I’m not calling anything near an end for democracy in South Africa, far from it, but rather a more realistic expectation of what democracy means for our nation.

I think this is the crossing of two wider trends in the country. The first being the disillusionment of many of the poorer segments of our society and the resultant move away from liberation party voting, and the second being the increasing centralisation of power in the Presidency and the ANC’s increasing paranoia of power.
Read the rest here.