There is a growing wave of disillusionment in South Africa that has led to much analysis of just how we have arrived at this point of stagnation. Not only is the country on a dangerously low growth trajectory with a swelling number of unemployed youth excluded from the formal economy, there is also a sense of bewilderment about the dynamics shaping our political landscape and, more especially, about the fractures in the ruling party and the alliance.
A tide of new young thought-leaders and activists is agitating and ensuring that all South Africans address and confront issues of race, redress, transformation and dialogue from the vantage point of a country now 21 years old. Many decisions taken in the lead-up to 1994, by Nelson Mandela, the ANC and the government of the time, are being dissected, debated and critiqued.
The strategy, choices and motivation behind the trajectory decided upon by Mandela and his team are covered in the various books written by the man himself, including Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself, and the many other commentators, authors and academics who have written about the period
With this in mind, the South African Book Fair, together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, will present a dialogue at the upcoming fair: Revisiting Madiba’s Legacy.
It will be an opportunity for dissenting views to be heard and debated and for the panel, consisting of Verne Harris, Malaika wa Azania, Mondli Makhanya and Rekgotsofetse Chikane, to decide whether Mandela conceded too much in the pursuit of nation-building at the expense of transformation.
Siki Mgabadeli will act as facilitator and Professor Njabulo Ndebele, author and chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Foundation board, will respond to the panellists.
Don’t miss this event at the book fair on Saturday August 1 at 3pm. Tickets are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.
*Note the panel for Revisiting Madiba’s Legacy has changed and no longer includes Sello Hatang and Simamkele Dlakavu.
Terry Morris is managing director of Pan Macmillan South Africa and vice-chairperson of the Publishers’ Association of South Africa