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The Success of Economic and Social Reform in post-Apartheid South Africa - Essay Example

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The paper "The Success of Economic and Social Reform in post-Apartheid South Africa" discusses the pre-1991 South Africa that conjured up an image of widespread political repression, endless racial conflict, to say nothing of serving as a reminder of Europe’s colonial legacy across the whole of Africa…
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The Success of Economic and Social Reform in post-Apartheid South Africa
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Download file to see previous pages Africa in general, though South Africa in particular, has in the last twenty years been a testing ground for a variety of programs and initiatives to heal racial divisions and remedy racial and social inequities. “At a more general level, there is Africa’s role in the broad redefinition of international morality and law. Africa, perhaps more than any other continent, has helped to make domestic racism in a particular society an issue of international relevance” (Mazrui 304). The paradox is such that though South Africa led the way in redressing the political wrongs left by colonialism, it has largely faltered in fixing the socio-economic ones. It is that disparity which stands before us here.
The Union of South Africa was formed into a dominion of the British Empire in 1910, whereupon racial segregation and economic isolation became an institutionalized policy of the white-dominated government (South Africa 1998). Looking back, this was by far the decision that would have the greatest consequences upon the future of the country. Even if the ways and means whereby race-based economic disparities continued to plague South Africa’s black population throughout the 1990s were as widespread as the disparities themselves, one area for which the country should receive praise is in the realm of literacy rates and infant mortality. By 2000 literacy rates had risen from their pre-1991 level of some 77% to approximately 88% of the population, a marked increase. This successfully solved the lack of basic reading skills in those members of the population who had until then been ignored or denied basic access to education. As well, infant mortality levels have dropped from 49% in 1990 to 46% in 2007, a change that can be directly attributed to the better level of care now available to the country’s rural black population (South Africa 2004).
And yet if something as basic as literacy has for the most part been addressed, it seems strange that there remain in South Africa such as glaring social and economic differences.    ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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