Political culture in South Africa

SOURCE: South African politics: an introduction
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2020
TITLE AUTHOR(S): J.Steyn Kotze
SOURCE EDITOR(S): N.De Jager
KEYWORDS: APARTHEID, DEMOCRACY, POLITICAL CULTURE, POLITICS, SOUTH AFRICA
DEPARTMENT: Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 12089
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/16333
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/16333

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Abstract

This chapter discusses South Africa's political culture following the end of apartheid in 1994. Central to successful democratic consolidation is the ability of a fragmented polity to construct a national identity and sense of nationhood founded on a common culture. In the South African context, however, national identity construction is based on the principle of unity in diversity. This means that given the diversity of cultural-linguistic and religious communities, the post-apartheid South African state attempted to construct a national identity that respects the equality of diverse people and is founded on a multiculturalist world view. The South African Constitution commits South African political society to a political culture rooted in a strong human rights tradition. The doctrine of non-racialism as an ideology can serve to unite a fragmented South African society. Born from the Freedom Charter, which envisioned a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it, black and white, the doctrine of non-racialism follows a world view that does not recognise race (in other words legal access, public services and opportunities need to be available to all irrespective of race).