n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Bemagtiging deur middel van gemeenskapskapitaal

Volume 43, Issue 3_4
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


Democratic stability requires, among other things an effectively functioning civil society. The institutions of civil society, in turn, can be effective only if their members bring into these institutions adequate amounts of social capital. South Africa, both under apartheid and during the turbulent years of the democratic transition, experienced widespread breakdown of communities, and with it, the loss and squandering of social capital. Revitalising civil society therefore requires the recapitalization of the communities within which these civic bodies are embedded. Bridging the gap between empowered communities and consolidated democracies requires a two-pronged effort. From the community's side the building of social capital has to proceed within the boundaries set by the norms of civility, and from the side of the incumbents of state power, the principle and practice of citizenship of equal value has to be upheld. Should the latter not be forthcoming, then the structural conditions for the reemergence of disempowered minorities, the hallmark of apartheid society, are recreated.

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