Post Apartheid Transition in South Africa
The struggle to end apartheid regime in South Africa was met with harsh and brutal resistance by those who opposed it. However, the advocates of democracy were determined by all means to end the regime besides the challenges. This paper explores how the planners and the planning changed the transition from apartheid to the post-apartheid regime. Besides, the paper will determine how the planners did not change the transition process. Finally, the paper will look at to what degree did the planners and planning helped in post-apartheid reconstruction.
How Planners and Planning Changed
In the transition period, planners were hopeful that they would have succeeded in promoting a vision of integration through the establishment of equitable and sustainable cities to counter the spatial distortions created by the apartheid regime (Harrison et al., 2013, p. 8). The planners opted by the negotiated transition with aims of arriving at the democracy that would be inclusive of all the communities. This was evidenced by the planners planning activities that involved every community even at the local levels. For example, to ensure a smooth transition, the planners sought for community participation through direct involvement of the ordinary South Africans in the affairs of governance, planning and the overall transition programs at the grass root levels. The planners also opted for the negotiated transition that involved mass participation. The planners played a crucial role in making sure that South Africans debunked myths and misperceptions about each other. Through the negotiated transition enabled South Africans to learn the benefit of engagement in the process of ending apartheid regime and welcoming the post-apartheid period.
Reasons for Change
Before the era of the post-Apartheid regime, South Africans were living political mistreatment and subjections. Through political actions, protests and strikes and non-violent demonstrations apartheid era came to an end. The planners and the advocates wanted to undertake the transition that will include every community irrespective of the color or race. This involved having every community involved in the transition process.
How Planners and Planning did not Change
Even though the planners and the planning of the transition process were aimed at ensuring the interests of all parties were catered for, the process failed to represent the needs of all communities effectively. The planning process largely was based on the negotiations but it failed to address the key issues that were being experienced during the apartheid period. For example, the planners were unable to outdo the ruling framework that was based on the ideological ambitions and the economic objectives of the successive colonial apartheid regimes that had been existence for 150 years. Instead, the planners and the planning emphasized more on attaining political democracy than addressing key issues that may affect the country later. The planners failed to establish clear and comprehensive policies that could improve the macroeconomic programs of the majority especially in terms of economic inequality and poverty.
Reasons for Lack of Change
South Africans argue that the planners of transition were more focused on the political achievement than the economic situation that was the key concern of the people. The desire to have the trusted democracy made planners forget that they struggled to end apartheid to better the lives of the people. Besides, selfish interests of the planners could have made them pursue their goals at the expense of the poor South Africans. Finally, there was also an influence of the economically superior whites who influenced the African planners to have a transition that favored the minority whites apart from the majority.
Planners and Planning Assistance in the Post-Apartheid Period Reconstruction
Even though South Africans suffered and even today’s suffers after attaining the post-apartheid era, the efforts of the transition planners cannot go unforgotten. For example, the efforts and the dedication of transition planners saw the birth of the new constitution that was based on the humane principles of democracy. This achievement made sure the period that followed after apartheid era was characterized by the respect for the human rights and observance of the peoples’ fundamental freedom. Additionally, the new constitution facilitated the creation of the new laws that replaced the unjust laws established during the apartheid regime, and that were inconsistency with the natural law (Endoh, 2015, p. 72). Today, the process of rebuilding the constitution through meaningful amendments is still going on to ensure that all people are governed by the just laws. The creation of the new constitution and continued amendment of the laws to create the just society can be directly attributed to the involvement of the planners during the transition from apartheid to the post-apartheid regime. Therefore, it is evident that the planners assisted in the political development of the majority South African who had been oppressed during the brutal role of the apartheid policies. This helped to reduce and prevent the intense of the racial discrimination in the country.On the economic aspects, the planners of the transition have been blamed for not being able to create policies that could empower the majority black people economically (Spector, 2014). However, their contribution in bettering the economic condition of the black South Africans should be appreciated. The planners did little to regain the economic prowess of the fellow Black people, but it should be noted that they laid a foundation of the equal employment opportunities where the blacks can access the available jobs as their white counterparts (Padayachee & Desai, 2016). However, it is discouraging to note that the whites who are the minority in the country occupy the top management positions in the economic sector. For example, it has been found that the whites formed 68.9 percent of the top managerial position while the blacks claimed only 14. 3 percent. It is unjustifiable how the whites have the whites who constitute only 9.9 percent of the population have continued to dominate economy over the majority blacks who make 78 percent of the population (Mthanti, 2017).
The planners of the transition from apartheid to post-apartheid in South Africa have attracted more blame than appreciation. Their goals were more focused on achieving political freedom than improving the economic condition of the black people. Today, the economic disparity between the whites and the black people is quite evident. Even after two decades after the apartheid regime, there is no meaningful solution to address the sorry economic condition of the black South Africans. This paper recommends for the economic reforms that will address the economic disparity characterizing the two races in the country.