The two presidencies in the new South Africa : implications for consolidation of democracy

Fukula, Mzolisi Colbert (2001-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Following FW De Klerk's decision on the 2nd of February 1990 to unban black liberation movements, release of Mandela from prison and the uplifting of the state of emergence, a process of irreversible change was set in motion in South Africa. This process of change was captured in the four-year dramatic series of negotiations sometimes referred to as 'talks about talks' and the real negotiations at Kempton Park, which ensued immediately after De Klerk's ground-breaking speech in 1990. The negotiations ultimately resulted in the i~interim constitution of 1993 which served as the basis for the 1994 elections. The election in turn ushered South Africa into a new epoch of an electoral democracy characterised by most of the ingredients of a normal democracy. The new born "electoral democracy" met the seven conditional institutions/ principles for a polyarchy as prescribed by . Robert Dahl, namely universal suffrage; free and fair elections; right to run public office; freedom of expression; right to access information; freedom to form organizations of great variety and responsiveness of the government to voters and election outcomes. But the key question relates to its consolidation - is it consolidating? Responding to this question is the gist of this not-so comprehensive comparative thesis, whose particular focus is the presidency in the new South Africa - both of Mandela and Mbeki. This is done through the help of the both institutional as well as socio-economic approaches to democracy. That is, 'without appropriate state institutions, democracy is not possible' (Linz and Stepan .1996.p14) and without favourable socio-economic conditions, democratic institutions are unlikely to endure and consolidate. The institutional analysis puts under spotlight the presidency and decision-making trends, specifically the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) for the Mandela's presidential era and the Policy Co-ordination Advisory Services (PCAS) Unit for the Mbeki's. On socio-economics it looks at how Mandela and Mbeki dealt with the inequality problem issue. This study will not deal with issues such as ethnic heterogeneity or class issues in relation to consolidation of democracy, except insofar as they illustrate something about policies on inequalities. It eventually assesses the implications for the consolidation of democracy in the new South Africa by contrasting Mandela and Mbeki's approaches to the economy i.e. Mandela's ROP and Nedlac and Mbeki's GEAR and International Investment Council.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Proses van onomkeerbare verandering in Suid-Afrika is in werking gestel met FW de Klerk se besluit op 2 Februarie 1990 om die bevrydingsbewegings te ontban, Mandela en ander politieke gevangenis vry te laat en die noodtoestand op te hef. Dié proses van verandering het op 'n vier jaarlange onderhandelingsproses uitgeloop wat aanvanklik getipeer was as "gesprekke oor gesprekke" en daarna die ware onderhandelings wat by Kemptonpark plaasgevind het. Hierdie onderhandelings het gelei tot die formulering van die interim grondwet van 1993 wat die basis gevorm het vir die eerste inklusiewe verkiesing in Suid-Afrika in 1994. Hierdie verkiesing het Suid-Afrika op die pad van 'n elektorale demokrasie geplaas wat die vereiste vir alle normale demokrasieë is. Hierdie elektorale stelsel in Suid-Afrika voldoen aan al Robert Dahl se sewe vereistes vir 'n poliargie, te wete algemene stemreg, vrye en regverdige verkiesings, die reg om aan openbare instellings deel te neem, die vryheid van spraak, die reg tot inligting, die vryheid om organisasies te vorm wat betrekking het op die verkiesingsproses. AI hierdie vereistes is noodsaaklik, maar nie noodwendig voldoende om 'n demokrasie te konsolideer nie. Die vraag is dus of Suid-Afrika konsolideer. Om hierdie vraag te beantwoord vereis 'n omvattende ondersoek. Hierdie tesis is egter meer beskeie en sal slegs konsentreer op die rol van die presidentskap in Suid-Afrika - Mandela en Mbeki, en te bepaal of die style wat hulle gevolg het en die beleide wat hulle toegepas het konsolidasie in die hand werk of nie. Daar sal gekyk word na die institusionele aspekte van die presidentskap se besluitnemingstrukture asook na enkele sosio-ekonomiese aspekte wat relevant vir demokratisering is. Die aanname in hierdie tesis was "without appropriate state institutions, democracy is not possible" (Linz & Stepan. 1996), maar sonder gunstige ekonomiese toestande (Przeworski en andere 1996), is die kanse dat 'n demokrasie volhoubaar is gering. Die instellings wat beskryf en ontleed word wat op die president se besluitnemingstyle dui is die National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) wat Mandela betref en die Policy Coordination Advisory Services (PCAS) wat Mbeki betref. Die sosio-ekonomiese aspekte wat ondersoek is handel in beide gevalle met hoe hierdie presidente die ongelykheids-problematiek in Suid-Afrika aangespreek het wat ook op nasiebou betrekking het. Hierdie studie sluit kwessies soos etniese heterogeniteit en die klassedebat uit, behalwe in soverre dit betrekking het op besluitneming en die hantering van ongelykheid. Die implikasies vir konsolidasie word uitgespel.

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