Africa Program

Democracy in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Project Expert

John Campbell

Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies

About the Project

With the end of apartheid in 1994 the people of South Africa anticipated profound social and economic change. Yet twenty-one years later, much of the population lacks access to proper medical care and education. Despite improved access to clean water, housing, and roads many South Africans feel that too little has changed since the apartheid era. The "rainbow nation" is still racially divided in its electoral behavior, and the income gap between blacks and whites is greater than it was in 1994. Leading political figures in the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), are often accused of corruption. New political groups are calling for the nationalization and expropriation of land and resources from the white minority. Nevertheless, the constitution enshrines the rule of law, and has popular support across all racial divides. Are the laws and institutions in place since 1994 strong enough to preserve democracy and the rule of law when the pace of social and economic change remains slow? I seek to answer this question in my upcoming book, Morning in South Africa, in blog posts, and in other publications.

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