News & events


21 August 2014

“Glamorous” politicians “no longer following a vocation”


POLITICS in South Africa is no longer a vocation, a commitment to serving the people, as the salaries of politicians soar and they live glamorous lifestyles, a review of 20 years of democracy has found.

The seventh volume of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) State of the Nation report, coinciding with 20 years since the advent of democracy in South Africa, acknowledges the government’s immense gains — its “astonishing record” of having built 2.7-million houses since 1994 — but also its failures in relation to its own promises.

The editors of the review — which has contributions from political analysts, economists and researchers in several fields — note the well-managed macroeconomy, improvements to social services and reductions in poverty, but also the “disquiet that, while democracy has been in place for two decades, it has failed to provide socially for the majority of South African citizens”.

They warn that South Africa’s party political system clashes with the ideals of representative democracy, with a divergence in the loyalties of elected representatives between the electorate and the party machinery required during an election.

Read the article online


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