Apartheid has re-articulated itself in the democratic dispensation: Analyst

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While South Africa gained political independence in 1994 when apartheid rule came to end, Political Analyst Angelo Fick is of the opinion that apartheid “re-articulated itself” since then. 

He says this can be seen in the inequalities of contemporary South Africa in economic terms and largely so because African National Congress (ANC) policies articulated neo-liberalism. 

“Think of the [Thabo] Mbeki years. Think of what we have seen around the globe, including South Africa over the last five years alone, where profits are chosen over people. The investors who invest in corporations tend to take away huge amounts of profits and senior managers and executives are paid huge bonuses, but ordinary workers have seen stagnation in real income and their ability to spend in relation to inflation,” he argues. 

Fick was speaking on the sidelines of the sixth ANC National Policy Conference which has entered its final day at the Johannesburg Expo Centre in Nasrec.  

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have for a very long time preached that South Africa needed to start building a socialist future in which everyone shared in the wealth of the country. In so doing, they have suggested that South Africa should look in the direction of countries like China for ideas. 

However, Fick says while a post-capitalist order is necessary, China also has its own problems. 

Fick has warned that a country should not be run like a business. He argues that if a country is run like a business it is the poor of the country who will suffer because the elites will always choose profits over people.

He says a post-capitalist order is absolutely necessary for the survival of the human species and all species.

The Director of Research at ASRI on Friday pointed out that the successes of the colonial and apartheid farming in South Africa were a myth. 

He says it is no longer a tenable position for government to regard as untouchable the thorny issue of land reform, which has largely become lip service.   

“There were records of spectacular failure,” says Fick.

“Land reform is absolutely needed and for a variety of reasons. Put the economic reasons aside, all the people of South Africa need to have a sense of belonging. And you can’t have a sense of belonging if your tenure on the land is threatened by people who own it, who have the power to remove you from it or the people who administer it on behalf of the state can remove you as traditional authorities,” he says.