n Journal of Public Administration - State-business relations in South Africa - jilted spouses in a contrived governance marriage

Volume 49, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



South Africa has had its fair share of fortunes and misfortunes since the inaugural democratic dispensation. What characterised the Mandela era (1994-1999) has been referred to as the reconciliation era wherein business bought into the much-vaunted social contract. However, this period did not bring in the much needed trust; the Mbeki era (1999-2008) came to be known as the African renaissance era with emphasis on transformation of the racially skewed structure of ownership and management within the corporate sector and the introduction of the black economic empowerment mantra, unfortunately, the Zuma era (2009 - 2014) cannot be characterised as yet since there is no clear vision relating to economic outlook, this include the highly contested National Development Plan 2030 (NDP) by some in the alliance and, what should characterise this administration's relations with business. This could be attributed to the conflicted coalition that ensured Zuma's ascendency to power, the resurgence of the nationalization debate, frequent cabinet reshuffles and now of late, the crippling labour unrests within the mining sector. These occurrences resulted in some form of discomfort among the business fraternity and, the downgrading of South Africa's credit worthiness by the international rating agencies.

The intention of this paper is to look into state-business relations over the period of the African National Congress' (ANC) rule of a democratic South Africa, the challenges experienced and; how these relations are sought to be harmonised by various partners. In conclusion, some suggestions will be advanced for the both parties to consider in creating a favourable climate for constructive engagement.

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