The Compromises of the ANC

A particularly disturbing chapter in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine is the one on South Africa.  In the election of the ANC and Nelson Mandela to power,  the rule was in title only.  The REAL title was held by the powers that be in the economic arena (that being,  the TITLES as in deeds to the land and economic pursestrings),  and the ANC reps who negotiated the handover of power from the National Party,  were basically taken to the cleaners.  The "Outgoing" government was "outgoing" in title only (but in their case, these were what turned out to be the truly valuable and efficient titles,  that of the economic dominance). 

Those still in power there are all too happy to "give tribute" to the "democratization" of South Africa and the end of apartheid,  but the economic signs indicate nothing but an ongoing economic apartheid.  The ANC was basically victim to a technical language snow job,  and they found themselves selling off 18 state owned firms for 4 billion to pay off debts,  and the gap between rich and poor had ballooned much larger than what it HAD been prior to the releasing of Mandela. Unemployment for black South Africans had risen from 23 to 48 percent, and the number of people living on less than a dollar a day had doubled from 2 million to 4 million between 1994 (when the ANC took power) and 2006. The list goes on and on.  (Klein, p. 217,  where she lists the disturbing stats with notes and economic reference stats).

Klein had traveled to South Africa in 2005 to find out how and why things had grown  so much worse since the ANC had supposedly taken power.  This has to be , for me,  the most depressing chapter yet. Most disgusting is the "historic district" erected in a former shantytown, Kliptown,  (complete with "relocation" of the residents to some other shantytown off in the distance away from the glorious tribute to democracy and freedom and the Freedom Charter,  which had been relegated to scarcely more than the piece of paper it was written on.  Now it was enshrined in a monument in the glitzy tourist attraction touting how South Africa has been remade by democracy. And all the rebuilding and gala was not done by the ANC,  but by an  firm BlueIQ,  who had " identified tourism as a major growth area for investment,  and its market research showed that for tourists visiting South Africa, a large part of the attraction is the ANC’s global reputation for having triumphed over oppression." (Klein, p. 214)

About Theoblogical

I am a Web developer with a background in theology, sociology and communications. I love to read, watch movies, sports, and am looking for authentic church.

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