PODCAST: SA possibly in one of its worst positions right now: Magubane

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As the country gears up for 2023 Freedom Day celebrations under the theme: Consolidating and Safeguarding Democratic gains, independent analyst and broadcaster Khanyi Magubane says “South Africa may possibly be in one of its worst positions right now politically, economically, but also socially.”

SABC Digital News producer Richard Brooks spoke to Magubane and asked her to unpack the 29-year journey the country has been through since the first democratic election.

Has South Africa consolidated and safeguarded its democratic gains?

“I think a good place to start would be to unpack what those democratic gains are that the theme this year is saying that we should consolidate and safeguard. We have to look at the journey over the last 29 years since 1994 that we walked as a country. And I think that it is safe to say that South Africa may possibly be in one of its worst positions right now politically, economically, but also socially. If you look at the social psyche of South Africans right now, we are sitting in a position where they have the highest level of unemployment that is sitting at unprecedented levels right now. Our crime is I would say is at a place where we can no longer say it does not affect you collectively, we are all affected by crime.”

What are your thoughts about Freedom Day, do people still care about it?

“I think people do care about it. But for some it’s become more of a ceremonial day. It’s become a day that we know at the back of our minds that it’s an important day, but we no longer have that collective euphoria when it comes to celebrating the 27th of April which is Freedom Day. I think that has to change because it is an important day and it is a day where we need to remind what we call the 2000’s, the young kids who don’t really have an idea of South Africans would do during apartheid. They are the ones who need to be constantly reminded why this day is so important.”

Will South Africa ever have a thriving democracy?  

“I think we will. Once we find our own identity. I think we definitely will if we are committed towards it. I think the past 29 years has been a lot of trial and error for us. We have gotten other things right as well. I think each and every administration has come in whether we are talking under the former late President Nelson Mandela, under Thabo Mbeki, under President Jacob Zuma, under President Cyril Ramaphosa each President can talk about what each administration has done.”

Listen to the full interview below: