oa Alternation - Introduction

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



South Africa, given its long history of colonialism and apartheid became one of the most racially polarised countries in the world. Institutionalised racism served the economic and social well being of the minority white ruling class through the systematic marginalization of the black majority. In 1994, the ascension to democracy abolished all forms of institutionalised racism giving previously disenfranchised blacks new opportunities and correcting the most blatant social injustices of the past. However, thirteen years into democracy, not all South Africans share equally in the promises made in the liberation manifesto as the gap between the have's and have-not's is increasingly widening. Furthermore these inequalities are still racialised, and while obvious forms of racism may no longer be tolerated in the post-apartheid era, lack of integration between 'racially' defined groups remains a pertinent feature in contemporary South Africa. While the post-apartheid era has raised opportunities for so many in employment and education, large numbers (mainly black Africans) stagger in the stupor unleashed by poverty with little hope of it abating.

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