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Twenty Years Of Democracy And Challenges

1689 words - 7 pages

The 1994 elections implemented democracy into South Africa’s government. This allowed for many parties including the African National Congress (ANC), the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), the South African Communist Party (SACP), and other parties to run for office (Southall 1994). With these elections, the ANC was able to convert “itself from a movement of liberation into the predominant party of power” (Southall 1994: 643). Over the past twenty years of democracy the ANC has retained this position of power and currently holds the highest percentage out of all the parties in South Africa’s parliament. However, even though South Africa has transformed into a democratically run government there has been many political and socio-economic challenges that have threatened South Africa over its twenty years. Three prominent problems that the ANC and South Africa has dealt with and currently deals with are the economy, public health, and the high-levels of corruption.
Economic Challenges
As the ruling party, the ANC is in control of parliament and therefore must address the issues and challenges that arise. One of the challenges that has been very noticeable throughout the past twenty years is the economy and wealth distribution of South Africa. Even though South Africa has “the largest, most diversified, and highly industrialized economy in Africa” it doesn’t compare too much of the rest of the world (Cook 2013: 1). The country’s financial growth has been sufficient in recent years and the development and access to education throughout the racial groups has increased (Cook 2013).
However, the challenges that the country faces because of the economy are greater than its advancements. Despite the post-apartheid socioeconomic progresses, South Africa continues to be a highly unequal society in terms of “wealth and income distribution, access to jobs, social services, utilities, and land” (Cook 2013: 1). The majority of blacks are poor and the average income for blacks is minuscule compared to those of the white minority (Cook 2013). The black population also experiences a high unemployment rate which averaged around thirty-six percent in 2011 which can also be tied to the lack of education they receive and have access to (Cook 2013).
Even though twenty years has passed the ANC still has not been able to generate equality for the black population, the subgroup they fought for in the beginning. The ANC has thrived off of the fact that it led South Africa out of the Apartheid era and into democracy. However, now that ‘born-free’ youth are old enough to vote the loyalty and commitment to the ANC has diminished. Furthermore, the young people of South Africa are faced with a poor economy and a high unemployed rate (Cook 2013). Something the ANC promised to fix with its win in 1994.
The ANC created the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) to help transform the country and solve its problems. The RDP aimed at “reducing the poverty that afflicted a...

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