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African Futures III

South Africa’s Democratic Transition and Transformation from 1994-2014: What Difference Has It Made to date?1

by Mammo Muchie


Network of Ethiopian Scholars (NES)
December 31, 2014



“Africa without South Africa can be like a ship without a captain; South Africa without the rest of Africa can be like a ship without a compass.” Mammo Muchie2


I. South Africa 20 years after Apartheid?

As 2014 passes and 2015 comes, the twenty years of South African democracy is also entering the next twenty years and beyond that is worth reflecting on. We have been captured by the South Africa anti-apartheid struggles throughout our lives. It is important we continue to reflect on the way South Africa is navigating today and tomorrow the stormy waves of world politics and economics to transform the conditions of inherited injustice in South Africa itself. How strong is South Africa standing firmly to deal with all the internal and external challenges the country is facing today and tomorrow? Is South Africa playing the role of the captain with the rest of Africa as its compass to navigate the unpredictable waves of a difficult world? If not now, then when can it be welcomed to play a constructive role to help Africa emerge as its own leader in the coming centuries!

We all know South Africa ended apartheid with a big compromise where the formerly oppressed ended formally the historical chapter of the political fetters and rules that had fenced them into dispersed and divided Bantustan enclaves. This de-apartheid freedom was earned with the formerly advantaged retaining still much of their economic privileges. Thus to this day still all South African citizens share political freedom without equally enjoying full economic justice. The South African constitutional democracy appears to provide political freedom without yet a fully realised economic justice especially to the formerly racially oppressed majority population. It is no exaggeration if we claim that it is still a democracy without a fully yet realised economic justice for the previously underprivileged majority. The moral foundation of the struggle against apartheid was equality, end of repression, and justice rather than revenge. Nelson Mandela was in jail unjustly for nearly a generation, to be precise for 27 years and was prepared along with his comrades Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani, Thabo Mbeki and others to go for reconciliation. (Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, ‘From a ‘‘Terrorist’’ to Global Icon: A Critical Decolonial Ethical Tribute to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela of South Africa.’Third World Quarterly, 35(6), July 2014.) That was why the world was awed by the shining example of reconciliation and the embrace of the values of Ubuntu.

In this commentary, we argue that the rainbow nation faces the challenging task of ensuring economic and social justice that is necessary for the spirit and reality of political freedom to achieve its genuine meaning. This is important not only for South Africa but also for the rest of the African continent, in that South Africa will find itself in not a strong position to engage the rest of Africa while its domestic economic landscape is dominated by excessive unemployment of the youth, inequality in income and opportunity, and not meeting ordinary citizens’ expectations.

The plus side of this historic settlement is that it prevented the paradigm of war and launched South Africa into a constitutional democracy that has emerged as an example to the rest of the world for finding a peaceful way of handling what appeared to be an impossible protracted conflict that would not have been overcome without armed struggle. What makes 1994 a unique historical milestone is that war was replaced by peace; and reconciliation replaced conflict. The ‘Rainbow nation of God’ was born according to Bishop Desmond Tutu! South Africa has now a morally radiant and intelligent global brand for ending with peace and reconciliation that all in the whole world believed could not have ended without war and protracted fighting. South Africa has become the spiritually radiant example others in the world continue to envy for ending an oppressive system without continuing armed warfare. As Ethiopianism sustained the moral and spiritual call for independence from the yoke of colonialism throughout Africa and the colonized world, the struggle against apartheid and reconciliation set a new standard for justice and peace in the world.

Now the real challenge for South Africa is how to apply moral, emotional, political and social intelligence in order to build on the achievement of 1994 and innovate a new democratic synthesis by combining political democracy with economic justice by avoiding once gain any conflict, war and fighting by retaining and showcasing the country’s distinguishing brand of globally recognised moral standing.

There are tangible and recognised achievements over the last twenty years. Some of the achievements are:


“Commitment to and practice of vibrant democracy and political stability;

Improved access to education with more students are going to schools at all levels;

Increased women participation in the political process nearly 45% of parliamentarians being women;

Increased safety net (even though a lot more is to be desired): more housing units being built; expansion of healthcare services; increased access to electricity, clean water and sanitation services;

The integration of neighbourhoods and removal of living restrictions;

Stable macroeconomic conditions accompanied by declines of inflation rates to manageable single digits (as compared to double digit inflation rates of apartheid era of 1980-1994), and acceptable economic growth of an average of about 3.5% (as compared to apartheid era of 1.4% (1980-1994);

Existence of relatively high quality institutions such as vibrant universities, vibrant media, decent courts, and a well-organized civil society.”(http://www.actsa.org/newsroom/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/South-Africa-20-years-of-Freedom-Achievements-and-Challenges.pdf)


The achievements are impressive, but there are also serious challenges: “Growing wealth and income disparities, high youth unemployment; labour unrest (which has led to shutting down of some economic activities and even factories!); and relative de-industrialization and dependence on commodity exports.”(ibid.)

The unfinished task is how to ensure equality of opportunity and economic mobility of the country’s citizens and still retaining the globally recognized and distinguished brand of moral standing. Pursuing the two grand objectives is a complex task and requires combining both the ideals of Ubuntu and a shared collective commitment to create opportunities for the young generation to fully participate in the economic, social and political life of the rainbow nation.

But a warning: All South Africans rich or poor have to appreciate that democracy without economic justice for all will not be sustainable. Democracy will be eroded if poverty, unemployment and inequality continue to rise even if economic growth continues to take place. It depends who continues to benefit and who continues to lose. The losers continue to be the historically disadvantaged majority. This has to change irreversibly twenty years on now and ways should be discovered how to realise it and not just say it.

The real challenge for all South Africans is this: how to bring about and build on the successes of democratic practices by adding economic democracy, justice and freedom by avoiding the paradigm of conflict. This can only be achieved through a shared growth strategy and implementation designed to help in reducing poverty, inequality and unemployment. Achieving these must be priorities of all South African stakeholders-private or public, university or community. This is human kindness - a dynamic society, economy and governance system anchored deeply on the values and principles of Ubuntu. In reality, it is not much to ask for an economically and politically unified democracy that is critical to be promoted now and the future so that all South Africans can unite and rally behind and sustain the achievements of the last twenty years.

Economic and social transformation is a slow process and yet the last two decades has been too slow in bringing about economic democracy and in preparing the youth for the responsibilities and challenges of a fiercely competitive world. The indicators of inequality of income and opportunity across families and economic classes, excessive unemployment rate of the youth, and prevalence of poverty among historically repressed communities paint indeed an uncongenial if not a depressing situation. There were several but uncoordinated efforts, such as the Broad Based (BB-BEE) Black Economic Empowerment scheme, to address the challenge and it has not been effective or sustainable.

Inequality is growing even when South Africa has been reported to be the one country that has broken the global record in increasing the number of the richest percentage in the world: the number of millionaires has grown by 106% over the last decade and multimillionaires by 102%. This easily beats the global average of 58% for millionaires and 71% for multimillionaires. Africa is home to about 100,000 dollar millionaires-an increase of 7.4 % over last year. The number of Nigerian millionaires is expected to grow by 47 % over the next four years. (Africa Business, no.414, December 2014, p17) True, the number of millionaires and multimillionaires is increasing while poverty, inequality and youth unemployment continue to increase also in South Africa.

The real challenge is not to create the percentage of the millionaires and multimillionaires with the concentration and ownership of wealth in South Africa and the rest of Africa. It is different. It is how to make all citizens in South Africa especially the previously underprivileged black majority to be capable to lead a life of sustainable wellbeing with the provisions of food, water, shelter and health, electricity and all necessities as part and parcel of the protection of the human rights of all.

The key challenge is to create the rainbow nation of full human rights that create political and economic democracy that translate and become the human rights for the removal of inequality, poverty and unemployment. How to use the political democracy success of the last twenty years to redress economic injustice is the real challenge. The fact that South Africa is number one in creating millionaires and multimillionaires, when the Gini coefficient is growing ahead of Brazil shows this is not a good sign the country is addressing the wellbeing challenges that ordinary South Africans are facing. That is, the real challenge to address is how to use the success of the last 20 years of democracy to add also economic democracy and justice by avoiding the paradigm of conflict by making all share and care to create a South Africa where no one will be a beggar, no one starves, no one goes thirsty, everyone has decent shelter, no one is unemployed or unemployable, no one is poor and inequality is reduced, the Gini co-efficient rather than growing is subtracting to naught and the society is anchored in deep values, norms, trust capital, networks and institutions.

The democracy has to be anchored on the values and principles, norms and institutions that above all else comes first and foremost the wellbeing of the people by being a priority of priorities for all stakeholders whether private or public, university or community. How can South Africa enliven and invigorate a dynamic society, economy and governance system anchored deeply on the values and principles of Ubuntu. That is the real challenge that brooks no delay in addressing it.

The key is to sustain what emerged in 1994 by creating systematic interaction amongst the key factors that influence the wellbeing or ill-being of the people such as the intelligent and smart linkages between the South Africa’s economics with politics; the private with public sectors, the market with the state; the internal and external knowledge; the domestic technology creation with the transfer and exchange of external technology and knowledge; linking informal and formal sectors and linking strongly and consciously values from the traditions like Ubuntu with democracy that is associated with modernity. No mimickery, but creativity, innovation, venture creation, social entrepreneurship and intelligence to guide the making of the future. Not to think, learn and work hard, but to think, learn and work smartly also always with positive spirit is the synergy that is critical to move the country forwards and onwards. Only when hard work is interlinked with working smartly can the political democracy that emerged in 1994 continue to make social-economic difference and improve people’s lives making what emerged as the post-apartheid era 20 years ago in South Africa sustainable.


II. Suggestions for South Africa to Pursue in the Next Twenty Years

It is no good for any nation to be rich in goods and create a few millionaires relative to the population size with a world record and speed , it is even more important to be rich in values, principles, ideas, norms, trust, institutions, spirituality and morality. We have nations that are materially very rich but they are poor in providing spiritual public good. South Africa has provided in 1994 a spiritual public good with the arrangement to bring together without any fighting those who were privileged with the majority that were underprivileged. Even Ethiopia that still has been tarnished with the negative branding of famine and war has provided spiritual public good to the world by the Ethiopianism philosophy that has inspired Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance to this day and the future too. Ethiopianism too is very much at the root for the liberation movements in Africa, especially in South Africa. It is astonishing Band Aid repeated it’s ‘Do they know it is Christmas” insult; and the BBC World Service and other media for many days tried to commemorate the 30 Year famine showing how the West gave aid to Ethiopia. In the Ethiopian culture, if one gives, it is the receiver not the giver that can do the self or auto thanking.

In South Africa, what is now very essential is to find resourceful ways to sustain the great historical moment that opened a democratic and free future for South Africans to be realised and shared by all. That is to say, all should benefit, not some and not even some based on their biological and other specific variations and distinctions that matter still to those who are racists.

What is now very essential is for all South Africans to find resourceful ways to sustain the great historical moment that opened a democratic era and achieve economic justice.

In order to realise fully and without much ado economic freedom, we recommend approaches that all South Africans can promote together to add to the current political democracy:


a. Vastly promote social entrepreneurship
b. Promote Science , Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation(STEMI)
c. Create systematically Government-University-Industry and Civil Society/community Linkages
d. Values of Ubuntu for all not just for South Africa to save humanity too!
e. South African Democracy with Economic Justice and Freedom for Promoting the African Renaissance
f. Social, human and natural capital primary not the pursuit of financial capital


A: Infusing all in Society with Social Entrepreneurship culture is to combine the following:


1. Compassion with competition
2. Philanthropy with business
3. Buy one to give one
4. Buy what you need while giving to those in need
5. Make profit with non-profit ;
6. Economic gain with social gain
7. Spend less , give more
8. Doing good while doing good business
9. Giving with selling
10. Giving can serve as brand for profit making
11. Charitable with growing the bottom line


South Africa needs social entrepreneurs’ as much as new captains of industry and dynamic civil servants and university professors. Social entrepreneurship is the activity of establishing new business ventures to achieve social change, not just economic change. It is bringing economic change with social change and conversely social change with economic change: a win-win outcome of both the social and economic (non-profit with profit) at the same time. The business that combines social gain with economic gain can utilise creativity and innovation to bring social, financial, service, educational or other community benefits.

South Africa can promote better economic opportunities by promoting social entrepreneurs by building innovative partnerships: business, civil society, NGOs, committed individuals to deal with the effect of wealth & poverty, inequality, unequal economy condition/challenge. South Africa can create an innovative culture of continuous transformation & reconciliation through the promotion of social entrepreneurial creative approaches to create a strong society of social justice, poverty eradication by meeting all local environment/ livelihood needs for all the people.


B. Promote Creativity and Innovation (STEMI)

“Without innovation, new products, new services and new ways of doing business would never emerge, and most organisations would be forever stuck doing the same old things the same old way.” Technical or innovative entrepreneur is strictly science, and technology based. Such persons have a science and technology, knowledge and skill background. But a science and technology system that creates technical or innovative entrepreneurs is still lacking, though South Africa is better in many ways than many other African states. The policy for science and technology needs to change, as science and technology for improving policy needs to be streamlined and focused. It is long overdue that the appropriate incentives to change policy for S & T, and S & T for policy are not fully in place for productive power to generate human capital with skills, knowledge and the capacity to convert South Africa’s agriculture, minerals and vast resources into assets for building a future with foresight and intelligence for all. South Africa needs intelligence for STEMI as we do for intellect, politics, economics, emotions, morality and wisdom.


C. University, Government, Private and Community Interlinkages

What South Africa needs is to create productive power from kindergarten to tertiary levels by using Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation(STEMI) to address the construction of the platform for the weaning of innovative entrepreneurs, and help create domestic micro, small and medium sized social entrepreneurial firms with a knowledgebase. The key challenge for South Africa appears to be to create a sustainable Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation system by gearing the public, private, university and communities to produce both the knowledge and the graduates driven and charged with entrepreneurial acumen.

  • The production of quality STEMI requires organising a functioning and sustainable training system
  • Quality STEMI is necessary for building national capability and competence and skill and knowledge base
  • Such capability is necessary to enhance national productivity
  • National productivity in turn creates the knowledge, the trainees, inventions, innovation, patents and research outputs that can lead to application to meet social and economic objectives: i.e., to national utility contributing to community, society, economy and culture
  • From Production of quality STEMI— to capability in STEMI— leading to national productivity- on to uptake to societal utility
  • An integrated conception is needed to develop strongly the linkages!
  • From quality—capability—productivity-utility (QCPU)
  • This conception provides the basis for generating appropriate incentives!
  • STEMI should be promoted creatively from kindergarten to research university
  • Introducing STEMI continuously from primary, secondary, higher education and beyond in peoples working lives
  • Expanding education into community, society
  • Expanding education into business and industry
  • Linking education with the global flows of knowledge, higher education and research
  • Integrated university system: from further education colleges, polytechnics, vocational and skilled training to developmental, specialized, entrepreneurial and research universities
  • Create the inventive, venturesome and the innovative graduate equipped with the knowledge, learning, innovation and competence system (KLICs) throughout one’s life…
  • Learning to invent, to innovate, to design and produce graduates that create jobs and become designpreneurs and entrepreneurs
  • The synergy of capability, productive power, human capital , social and mental capital are necessary to sustain a harmonious and innovation South Africa to make it also to play an additional role as the pilot to help fly the rest of Africa to a bright future.

D. Ubuntu is a Heavenly Gift for South Africa

South Africa has a rare gift of Ubuntu. All the institutions should collaborate to make Ubuntu a way of life and an example for all. Values that are association-anchored- ‘I am because you are’- and not calculative and instrumental that Ubuntu promotes is so central to combine political democracy with social and economic democracy. South Africa can reinforce its 1994 morally radiant brand by promoting Ubuntu not only throughout society in South Africa, but also the rest of Africa and even the world by its only sheer power of practice of this value -rich philosophy of’ there is an’ I’ in You and there is a You in ‘I’!


E. South Africa for the Africa Renaissance

South Africa can promote the Africa renaissance if its political democracy combines economic justice and freedom without investing either much extra work or resources. There is no extra effort that is needed to promote the Africa Renaissance; the 1994 origin of the Africa Renaissance coincided with South Africa’s era of constitutional democracy. They can mutually promote each other as long as South Africa remains and continues to be the model with the brand distinction of inspiring the world with full democracy with economic justice and freedom.


F. Social Capital Central to Sustain both Political and economic Democracy

The briefest way to express social capital is to define it neatly and simply as trust capital. Trust is not easy to build as it is not easy to sustain in any capitalist society. The market is built on pricing with the aim of valorising above all else profits and often the prices are high or low and they may not designate the real and true value of what is sold or purchased. Profiteering inherently involves the priority of always making more and more money. It is very instrumental, calculative and individualistic. There is thus in profiteering an element of thieving sanctioned by market rules without violation of the law. It starts from this basic transaction whether trust is embedded in social and economic relations. It is not easy to maintain trust even if it exists with such individualistic and instrumental behaviour. Different values and economic realities need to exist to promote trust capital. If there is pervasive inequality, poverty and unemployment, social capital will decline. Crime will rise. Corruption, lying and cheating will prevail. “I am not upset you lied to me, I am upset from now on I can’t believe you.”(Friedrich Nietzsche)“The key is to get to know people and trust them to be who they are, instead we trust people to be who we want them to be, and when they are not, we cry.” “Physical capital is wholly tangible, human capital is less tangible, being embodied in the skill, knowledge acquired by an individual, social capital is even less tangible for it is embodied in the relations among people.”


When natural capital breaks down a country’s geo-ecological system will be irreparably damaged. Once nature breaks down, just like social capital, it is hard to fix that easily. It is hard to reproduce and regenerate natural capital and social capital. That is why human-nature relations observing pre-cautionary principles will be critical to prevent nature break down and preserve natural harmony anywhere in the world for that matter. Physical capital is reproducible. If a building is destroyed, it may even give the opportunity to rebuild a better building site provided the cost can be defrayed in some way. Financial capital is also replenish-able and can even be supplemented by central bank strategy to covert interests into debts, loans and credits as many African states have learned to do to continue to rule over the people. The World Bank has reported in one of its numerous reports on Africa that more money has been pocketed by African leaders throughout decolonisation than the amount of foreign aid that has flowed into Africa. Imagine this crime against Africa which has not stopped to this day! It is Africans who undermine Africa doubly by stealing its own resources and by making it a victim of donor aid, grants and loans!!! The rate of increase of millionaires and multimillionaires in Africa is among the highest in the world (New World Wealth: https://www.worldwealthreport.com/).

Huge amounts of money flows out of Africa every year. What Africa gets from outside is minimal in the form of aid and loans compared to what goes out both illicitly and by foreign companies and by variety of illegal and dubious routes! $182 billion dollars flow out of Africa every year, only $30 billion comes to Africa from overseas aid. Multinational corporations in the form of profits take $46.3 billion and $35 billion in the form of a variety of illicit financial flows and $21 billion in debt payments are taken out of Africa and even more every year. It is simply tragic Africa continues to be robbed over 50 years after independence. This still goes on! China that stood up without any compromise now is emerging as the number one global economic superpower whilst Africa continues to be robbed. (See New Africa, December, 2014)


African Governments often run into macro-economic difficulties and they quickly go and beg donors to help them fix their financial insolvencies and not look into how they themselves are squandering whatever resources Africa has.

The point we are making is that though finance looks difficult to have, it is not that difficult to regenerating it by various means! Human capital subtraction too can be reversed by attracting new trainees and learners though it takes time to build skills and knowledge. Once knowledge is degraded, it is not difficult to upgrade though naturally it is costly to re-skill. Similarly individual capital can be built up and lost and re- made. Manufacturing and infrastructural capital is also reproducible after degrading. They can be mended and rebuilt!

Social capital is different. It is built from such intangible matters as trust, norms, observance of rules and procedures in relationships following principles, submitting to institutional logic and not to personalised and egoistic pursuits. Each of these elements (e.g., rules, procedures etc..) in and of themselves may be practised in isolation but the human interaction, networks and relationships to generate predictable, irreversible and sustainable solidarity coordination and collective action is dependent on a combination of the intangible elements that constitute together social capital. When such social capital breaks down it is not easy to fix and reproduce.

When there is high social capital, the tendency for breakdown to undertake effective social action is very low. Conversely when there is low social capital, the tendency to quarrel over little irritating matters is very high.

Thus the building and the existence of social capital is a necessary condition to undertake sustainable transformation and development in any environment, cultural and power context. All those that have developed have built over a course of time strong foundations, institutions, predictable transitions with governance, citizenship, trust, norms and rules whose interactions together result amongst members in organisations to undertake effective collective actions. They have internalised values of social capital that allows them to function with coordination and cooperation. They have built the culture and ability to deal with effectively against corrosive actions both internal and external that undermine social capital.

When the power of justice and ethics overcomes the love of power and money, the necessary condition for social capital to blossom will be firm. One great achievement by South Africa is the democracy that is open and free and when there is corruption, it is immediately exposed. Africa has suffered for far too long from the humiliation by installing governments that are costly and officials that act like stationary bandits no different from roving bandits in search of power and loot who see ruling as an entitlement to fill their pockets with robbing rather than seeing governing as public service.

South Africa’s democracy has the great possibility to provide an example that Government is not business. Governing is not to make profit. People who wish to govern must not run for office to make profit, but to serve the public. If they wish to make money, they should go for business. Society must make governing nothing else than what it should be to serve all people, nation and country with deep values of Ubuntu, humility, care and sharing. Society should not tolerate and must oppose turning governing into a means to accumulate wealth and profit to oneself, one’s family and ones friends. The democracy in South Africa can evolve to provide the moral lesson to the rest of Africa. Twenty years to look back should be to look forward for the next twenty years and beyond, the moral radiance should continue to glow and brighten Africa‘s future onwards and forwards.


III. Concluding Remark

Over the last twenty years, in South Africa, we have the increase in the number of millionaires with wealth and income growth or ownership concentration, increase in poverty/inequality, and increase in protests and political demonstrations. The positive association between wealth concentration and high Geni coefficient (inequality) is a danger to South Africa’s constitutional democracy and the expectations of the people for leading a safe, healthy, happy and successful life in their beautiful country. If the wealthy keep piling up their wealth and the poor increase, a politics that plays on poverty will emerge naturally. It is remarkable already how the Economic Freedom Front won a surprising number of seats in the national parliament. Furthermore, the political instability will also manifest through crime, corruption, industrial unrest and other social ills. The only way to sustain the 20 years democracy is to address in a unified approach the eradication of poverty, unemployment, inequality, reduction in wealth concentration and ownership by the few by making the wellbeing of the majority the bedrock for the country’s economic and social policy and development. Rent seeking behaviour, tenderpreneurship and corruption together with inequality; unemployment and poverty must be eradicated for crime to be removed entirely in South Africa. This goal is possible to realise so long as all the people work together to realise it by sharing both the burden and opportunity with clear purpose and vision.

South Africa should create something like a community system of innovation: where private sector, the university, community, civil society and different government sectors join to convert knowledge for stimulating grassroots innovation in the townships, urban and rural areas, There is a need for a very active engagement and support by Governments, industries, universities and other actors in and with the community’s efforts to create and transform existing knowledge into innovation by identifying and applying the knowledge converted into innovations to address employment, inequality, poverty and social and environmental challenges by starting at the bottom of the pyramid and including everywhere and all the people.

In particular, there should be concentration on rural services: health, agriculture, education, water, energy, transport and infrastructure by using modern technologies, bio, info, nano and cogno even in rural areas and urban townships with creating a system of innovation to upgrade, standardise and harmonise them with the formal economy and space.

This requires adding to the triple helices an equal even if not even more significant or relevant sector- communities as one of the pillars of the helices , and generating opportunities for wealth creation by deploying all the actors, activities and institutions to support unified national and community innovation systems. All houses, towns must be harmonised and standardised, the townships must be transformed into cities; the standard must be all the same for the provision of all services.

So instead of playing with Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and other half-baked schemes, we wish South African stakeholders to unthink and unlearn to re-think and re-learn how through a new synthesis that promotes simultaneously ’Social entrepreneurship, STEMI and the dynamic interlinkages of university, private, public, civil society and community’ by creating a community anchored innovation dynamics that will transform structurally the South African economic system.

The lesson here is that the constitutional democracy and political stability that has been built during the last twenty years will almost certainly be eroded if poverty, unemployment and inequality continue to rise even if economic growth continues to take place. In other words wealth maximization without regard to reduction in inequality is a danger to the sustainability of South Africa's democracy.

Finally when the current remaining job of redressing economic justice is included and radiates like sun shine, South Africa’s 1994 moral radiance will glow also even much brighter across the rest of Africa and the world.

Wishing in this coming 2015 and beyond South Africa that inspired its liberation with the Ethiopianism philosophy of the 19th Century to remain the most spiritually powerful example for Africa and humanity forever with justice and fairness for all the people! Wishing all South Africans as Africans a great success to realise the synthesis: political democracy with social and economic justice to happen today, not later, not tomorrow or the day after tomorrow! Let there be a resolution to make the South Africa that turns and becomes also a ”New Rainbow Nation and Civilisation of Equality, Full Employment and Eradication of Poverty” to be the captain to the Africa compass within the shortest possible time in 2015 and ever after.


1. This thought-piece was presented initially at the MISTRA-TMALI-UNISA Conference on 20 Years of South African Democracy: So Where to Now? That was held in November 12-13, 2014 in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. The substantial and critical contributions from Ethiopian scholars Abu Girma (now In Japan), Hassan Seid (USA), Minga Negash (USA & SA) and Tesfaye Lemma (USA formerly also in SA) are acknowledged and indeed have been most helpful.

2. Mammo Muchie: DST/NRF Research Professor, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa, ASTU, Ethiopia and TMDC, Oxford University, UK. Contact: mammo.muchie[at]gmail.com & www.sarchi-steid.org.za/




Professor Mammo Muchie

SARChI Research Professor: Tshwane University of Technology
Adjunct Prof: Adama Science and Technology University
Senior Research Associate: TMDC, Oxford University

Read more about Prof Muchie and his view on being a futurist

With former president Dr. Thabo Mbeki at the 4th Africa


Unity for Renaissance Conference



1. New World Wealth: https://www.worldwealthreport.com/
2. Africa Business No.414, December 2014
3. http://www.actsa.org/newsroom/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/South-Africa-20-years-of-Freedom-Achievements-and-Challenges.pdf
4. Muchie, Phindile, Vusi & Hailemichael(eds.) Unite or Perish: Africa fifty Years After the Founding of the OAU: AISA Publishers, 2014, Pretoria, South Africa
5. http://www.heritage.org/index/country/southafrica
6. New African, December, 2014
7. http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/vusigumede
8. http://www.nesglobal.org/asapnow/
9. Muchie, Phindile & Akpor(eds.), The Africa Union Ten Years After: Solving African Problems with Pan-Africanism and the African-Renaissance, Aisa Publishers, Pretoria, South Africa
10. The Ethiopian Manifesto, Issued in Defence of the Blackman’s Rights in the Scale of Universal Freedom, 1829, Robert Alexander Young, New York
11. Mbeki, Thabo, Africa Define Yourself, 2004, Tafelberg publishers lmtd, Cape Town
12. Muchie, Matlou & Sasha (eds.), The Africana World: From Fragmentation to Unity and Renaissance, Aisa, 2011, Pretoria, South Africa
13. Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, ‘From a ‘‘Terrorist’’ to Global Icon: A Critical Decolonial Ethical Tribute to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela of South Africa.’ Third World Quarterly, 35(6), July 2014.
14. Mammo Muchie; The Pan-African roots of the ANC and the African Agenda (http://www.igd.org.za/jdownloads/IGD%20Reports/anc_sas_foreign_policy_-_proceedings_report.pdf)
15. http://www.kara.co.za/kara-gallery.php?gallery=23#!prettyPhoto[gallery]/
16. http://www.nesglobal.org/adwa
17. https://africanunityforrenaissance.wordpress.com/press/
18. Mammo Muchie(ed.), The Making of Africa-nation: Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance, Adonis Abbey publishers, 2003
19. Mammo Muchie et al (ed.), Putting Africa First, The Making of African innovation Systems, Aalborg University Press, 2003
20. Chris Landsberg, The Diplomacy of Transformation: South African Foreign Policy and Statecraft, Macmillan, 2010.
21. Kewsi Prah, The Africa Nation, CASAS, Cape Town, 2006


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