n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Transformasie en die universiteitswese

Volume 56 Number 4-1
  • ISSN : 0041-4751



"Transformation" is not defined in parliamentary legislation or the Constitution. Nevertheless, the policy documents of the Government and the ANC bestow immense importance on the notion, which bears significant ideological, political, legal and constitutional implications. The dictionary meaning of transformation suggests change, conversion, modification, etc. The ANC (2012:3) has described its "principal task" as being "to mobilise all strata and classes, including the new social forces born out of our democracy, around the national programme of transformation to build a national democratic society". This choice of terminology is no coincidence, because it is based on the organisation's main strategy known as the "National Democratic Revolution" (NDR). Its essential goals are "the liberation of Africans in particular and Blacks in general from political and socioeconomic bondage" and "liberating the white community from the false ideology of racial superiority and the insecurity attached to oppressing others". The history and thrust of the NDR show that it is uncompromisingly founded upon the tenets of Marxism-Leninism. Although it is hardly politically correct to interrogate the continued communist rhetoric with which the ANC's policy documents are infused, one cannot assume that such rhetoric is merely hollow prolixity. Sentiments supportive of fundamental social and economic change can be found in both the 1993 and 1996 Constitutions. No doubt these noble goals, if realised, could embody cornerstones in the transformation of the complex and conflicted South African society towards a stable citizenry with common expectations for social justice. These are, however, not the goals expressed in the NDR.

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