Ideals vs reality

2008-02-07 00:00

South Africa has been awash since 1994 with noble ideas and ideals, beginning with the institution of an all-inclusive democratic order. A new Constitution was established to enshrine this ideal and a Constitutional Court to protect it. This remarkable achievement won deserved accolades around the world for the “rainbow nation” that had become a reconciled South Africa on its way to major transformation.

The fact is that on nearly every front the new ideals have faltered, largely because of an absence of capacity to make them work. Affirmative action in favour of previously disadvantaged people was another high ideal the price of which has been the disappearance of lost skills. Too much resort has been had to endless talk-shops which have often been a camouflage for inaction. The corridors of power have become filled with a stifling and often incompetent bureaucracy.

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