Elite consensus: The case of land reform in South Africa

Christians, Micaela Ada (2021-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2021.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores elite consensus among the political elites across the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on the land redistribution question in South Africa. Data for this study was gathered through parliamentary committee meetings, parliamentary caucus meetings, policy documents, and party manifestos from 2018 to 2020. This study analysed the media statements, reports, caucus meetings and policy documents of each political party separately. This was done to identify each party’s values, opinions and behaviours in relation to procedural and institutional consensus and consensus on core values and agreement over vital policy matters. The premise of this thesis is that the styles of engagement among these elites hinder the progress of land reform because elites across the ANC, the DA and the EFF are uncooperative, antagonistic and uncompromising on their values and opinions in relation to land reform. However, political elites have carried out their debated within the democratic framework, even though it is somewhat robust and frictional. Robust and frictional interaction between political elites during debates should not be confused with a lack of agreement on the rules of the game. From this set of findings, it is concluded that political elites in South Africa can be considered “consensually unified” in relation to the codes of conduct and rules of the political system. Moreover, all political elites in South Africa have the chance to get involved in central decision-making that provides effective and reliable access to one another. However, political elites do not agree on how the land question should be addressed. This lack of agreement among the political elites across the ANC, the DA and the EFF continues to hinder the progress of land redistribution. The existing lack of agreement on some ideological (values) issues is not sufficient to undermine elite consensus on the rules of the game or democratic procedures.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek elite-konsensus onder die politieke elite in die African National Congress (ANC), die Demokratiese Alliansie (DA) en die Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) oor die grondherverdelingsvraagstuk in Suid-Afrika. Gegewens vir hierdie studie is versamel deur vergaderings van die parlementêre komitees, politieke elite-onderhoude, parlementêre koukusvergaderings, beleidsdokumente en partymanifeste, vanaf 2018 - 2020. Hierdie studie het die mediaverklarings, verslae, onderhoude, koukusvergaderings en beleidsdokumente van elke politieke party afsonderlik ontleed. Dit is gedoen om die waardes, menings en gedrag van elke party te identifiseer met betrekking tot prosedurele en institusionele konsensus en konsensus oor kernwaardes en ooreenkoms oor belangrike beleidsaangeleenthede. Die uitgangspunt van hierdie tesis is dat die styl van betrokkenheid by hierdie elite die vordering van grondhervorming vertraag omdat elites regoor die ANC, die DA en die EFF nie samewerking toon nie, antagonisties en kompromisloos is oor hul waardes en menings in verband met grondhervorming. Terwyl elite binne die parlementêre arena saamwerk en mekaar verdra, aanvaar sommige elite-groeperings mekaar nie noodwendig as wettige deelnemers aan die politieke proses nie. Verder is daar min ooreenkoms oor die wettigheid van die huidige grondwetlike bestel ten opsigte van die kwessie van grondhervorming. Uit hierdie stel bevindings word die gevolgtrekking gemaak dat politieke elite in Suid-Afrika as 'konsensueel verenig' kan word in terme van die gedragskodes en reëls van die politieke stelsel. Boonop het alle politieke elite in Suid-Afrika die geleentheid om deel te neem aan sentrale besluitneming wat effektiewe en betroubare toegang tot mekaar bied. Politieke elite is nie in ooreenkoms oor hoe die grondvraagstuk aangespreek moet word nie. Hierdie gebrek aan ooreenkoms tussen die politieke elite regoor die ANC, die DA en die EFF belemmer steeds die vordering van grondhervorming.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/109874
This item appears in the following collections: