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Broken Promises – is Democratic South Africa on the Brink of Being a Failing State?

Despite promises by the state to improve the lived realities of our people through advancing a transformative constitution, this “egalitarian society founded on values of human dignity, equality, and freedom for all, remains elusive”. Whilst a constitutional supremacy guarantees civil and political rights, it does little to address structural inequality and economic apartheid. The struggle for the emancipation of black South Africans ended in 1994 and signalled the dawn of a new struggle for the economic emancipation and the realisation of socio-economic rights for all its people. The report card on South Africa’s performance in the last 27 years since the end of the first struggle, however, is abysmal. Amid a gradual lack of confidence in the state meeting its constitutional obligations and a growing frustration in the lack of basic service delivery, the rise of authoritarian and populist politics gained momentum since the latter part of former President Thabo Mbeki’s tenure and throughout former President Jacob Zuma’s two terms in office.