n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Marikana - and the push for a new South African pact : forum section

Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



This article considers the violent confrontation at Marikana in the context of the South African transition, and whether it represents a broader crisis in the social pact that emerged during the transition years leading up to the nation's first democratic elections in 1994. In the last decades of the twentieth century a wave of transitions to democracy swept through South America, Southern Europe and South Africa. Threatened concurrently by coups, revolutionary overthrows, and the flight of capital, these precarious processes were usually stabilised through pacts negotiated at the political, military and socioeconomic levels. Negotiations at each of the levels may have been fractious but overall they reflected choices by parties, even as they pushed against one another, to build a common vision of a future society and then to use their joint energies to push for its achievement.

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