South Africa is no longer the post-apartheid transformational state over which President Nelson Mandela presided so magnificently and with such hope. Under his successors, South Africa has become a slow-growing, often cranky, one-party-dominant state that only partially succeeds in providing the basic education, health services, housing, electrical power and human security that its 55 million citizens demand and expect. Moreover, especially under President Jacob Zuma and the ruling African National Congress (ANC), rampant corruption engulfs South Africa, distorting priorities and inhibiting economic growth. Zuma and the ANC are also challenging the democratic foundations of South Africa, too. This book calls for a renewed strengthening of governance in the country – for action to be taken before it is too late.
The chapters in this volume, most written by committed South Africans, explain how South Africa can bolster its core governance and improve the lives of its people. This book presents the key alternatives facing South Africa’s political rulers during the remainder of this decade and in the decades to come. Courageous, intelligent, bold and principled political leadership is required if South Africa is going to build upon Mandela’s legacy and successfully address the major problems that engulf the nation and restore South Africa to primacy in Africa.
Robert I. Rotberg is the founding director of the Program on Intrastate Conflict, Harvard Kennedy School; president emeritus of the World Peace Foundation; fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; sometime Fulbright Professor at both the Paterson School of International Affairs (Carleton University) and the Balsillie School of International Affairs (University of Waterloo); and senior fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation. His most recent book is Africa Emerges: Consummate Challenges, Abundant Opportunities (Polity 2013). In 2014-2015 he was fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center.