n Journal of Public Administration - Debating substantive democracy : post-Polokwane political rhetoric

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



South Africa embarks on its fourth democratic election in 2009, effectively rendering it a stable democracy. The pre-election period has been volatile with and the divisions within the African National Congress (ANC) culminated with the of Thabo Mbeki, the expulsion of Mosiuoa Lekota, and the formation of the Congress of the People (COPE). Political analysis tend focus on the need for strong opposition to ensure a robust democracy and the need for alternative policies to ensure effective service delivery. Central as these issues are, there remains a need to assess South Africa's substantive democratic quality. Regime performance within a stable democratic environment is central to democratic consolidation. The political space is growing narrow due to statements highlighting levels of political intolerance, coupled with democratic consolidation challenges such as poverty, inadequate service delivery, and inequality. The article therefore deconstructs post-Polokwane political rhetoric to assess substantive democratic consolidation.

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