‘The shift to tyranny in SA has been accompanied by political arguments about the nature of South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy’
The complicated nature of government and the negative impact of political appointments make running the country a nightmare.
The problem facing government departments is not simply an issue of poor leadership or unskilled officials; it is structural.
The dynamics of power established under apartheid, especially in the ‘homelands’, still play a major role in rural government.
SA needs well-designed administrations staffed by well-trained, professional mandarins, writes Ivor Chipkin.
A serious misunderstanding about the uneveness of the apartheid state has resulted in major policy errors.
The government’s knee-jerk reaction to the pogroms that swept across the country speaks volumes to the politics of African nationalism. We were told they were ”criminal” acts in the service of a ”third force” agenda. This last term has a particular saliency in the South African context, writes Ivor Chipkin.
There is a tendency in South Africa to think that the future is dependent on what happens in the political domain. We debate the prospects of long-term political stability and economic growth as a question of the future of the tripartite alliance, economic policy and globalisation. This is all very important. Yet it draws attention away from an area of South African society that may be equally important.
Is there growing scepticism in the world about the very possibility of contemporary South Africa — a unitary state composed of peoples who have nothing in common except that they live in the same territory? Is the cosmopolitan project in -crisis? This is how the burning Paris hinterland is interpreted — the consequence of trying to integrate diverse cultures and religions in a single polity.
Recently, Jewish Voices South Africa and the Palestinian Solidarity Committee organised a joint placard demonstration. The protest was a festive and peaceful affair that attracted people from diverse organisations and walks of life. Our joint action, the first between a Jewish organisation with established roots in the Jewish community and a Palestinian solidarity movement, was motivated by several imperatives.