South Africa: Twenty-Five Years Since Apartheid

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tags: South Africa, Nelson Mandela, apartheid, African National Congress, colonization

Zeb Larson is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University with a Ph.D. in History. His research deals with the anti-apartheid movement in the United States.


In April 1994, South Africans of all races voted in the country’s first democratic elections, choosing Mandela as their first black president. The inhumane apartheid regime seemed to be miraculously ending peacefully, though much work remained to improve the lives of all South Africans.

Today much of that initial promise remains unfulfilled. After 25 years in power, the ANC draws intense criticism for South Africa’s persistent poverty, inequality, violence, health crises, and corruption.

As he works to renovate South Africa, new president Cyril Ramaphosa faces a daunting list of tasks: jump-start economic growth, shrink the debt, build functioning, law-based governance, and hold together the ANC when it seems to be coming apart at the seams.

Some of these problems go back to the colonial era, while a great many others were either created or sustained during the apartheid era. Understanding this history clarifies the situation in which South Africa finds itself and may help shape the choices it now faces.

Read entire article at Origins