n AFFRIKA Journal of Politics, Economics and Society - The legacy of apartheid on democracy and citizenship in post-apartheid South Africa : an inclusionary and exclusionary binary?

Volume 9 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1998-4936
  • E-ISSN: 2075-6534



This paper interrogates the legacy of apartheid as a socio-economic and political system on the emerging democracy and citizenship in post-apartheid South Africa. Following the arrival of Europeans in the 17th century, South Africa was subjected to the Dutch and the British political administrations. The political conquest of South Africa by these nations left the indigenous peoples stripped of their dignity, land and political rights. As well as being deprived of their human right to exist, the indigenous people experienced brutal wars, social exclusion and economic marginalization. This paper argues that apartheid and the democratic system of governance both created binaries based on inclusion and exclusion, race and class, gender and ethnicity. The failure of the democratic government to address the structural and institutional challenges not only reinforced these binaries but also perpetuated democratic inequalities, pushing poverty and unemployment to high levels. This paper traces the legacy of apartheid‘s social implications on a nation branded on the concept of the rainbow nation. Economically, the adoption of neo-liberal policies has failed to yield the economic growth needed for South Africa to tackle poverty, unemployment, inequality and other social issues. Although democracy has been institutionalized through the Constitution of 1996 and other relevant legislation, the South African democracy is unable to address the socio-economic and political challenges. The data for this paper was elicited from discourse analysis.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error