Forging a Resilient Social Contract in South Africa

Forging a Resilient Social Contract in South Africa

Since the advent of democracy in the 1990s, the South African political settlement has ushered into policy a progressive framework for the realization of socio-economic rights, enshrined by the Constitution. However, this political settlement has failed to translate into an economic and social settlement that results in just livelihood strategies and equitable service delivery that addresses historical grievances. Inadequate implementation of socio-economic policies designed to address injustice has contributed to weakening vertical cohesion between state and society. Analysing these two core conflict issues, access to service delivery and livelihood strategies, this article argues that the interaction of the political settlement and the ability of institutions to deliver effectively has negatively affected state-society relations and the legitimacy of the reconciliation agenda meant to support inter-group cohesion.

Find the full article here.

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Dr. Hugo van der Merwe is the Director of Research, Knowledge and Learning at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation. Since joining CSVR in 1997, he has developed and managed numerous research projects evaluating the work and impact of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and managed various research, advocacy and intervention projects relating to transitional justice in South Africa and on the African continent.

Masana Ndinga-Kanga
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