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The ANC and Its Critics: ‘Predatory Liberalism’, Black Empowerment and Intra-Alliance Tensions in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Democratization (2006)
  • Stefan Andreasson
Abstract

Post-apartheid South Africa is characterized by centralized, neoliberal policymaking that perpetuates, and in some cases exaggerates, socioeconomic inequalities inherited from the apartheid era. The ANC leadership’s alignment with powerful international and domestic market actors produces tensions within the Tripartite Alliance and between government and civil society. Consequently, several characteristics of ‘predatory liberalism’ are evident in contemporary South Africa: Neoliberal restructuring of the economy is combined with an increasing willingness by government to assert its authority, to marginalize and delegitimize those critical of its abandonment of inclusive governance. A new form of oligarch power, combining entrenched economic interests with those of a new ‘black bourgeoisie’ promoted by narrowly implemented Black Economic Empowerment policies, diminishes prospects for broad-based socioeconomic transformation. Because the new policy environment is failing to resolve tensions between global market demands for increasing market liberalization and domestic popular demands for poverty-alleviation and socioeconomic transformation, the ANC leadership is increasingly forced to confront ‘ultra-Leftists’ that are challenging its credentials as defender of the National Democratic Revolution which was the cornerstone in the anti-apartheid struggle.

Keywords
  • democracy,
  • neo-liberal,
  • empowerment,
  • African National Congress,
  • South Africa
Publication Date
April, 2006
Citation Information
Stefan Andreasson. "The ANC and Its Critics: ‘Predatory Liberalism’, Black Empowerment and Intra-Alliance Tensions in Post-Apartheid South Africa" Democratization Vol. 13 Iss. 2 (2006)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stefan_andreasson/2/