Home | About Us | News Feeds RSS | Subscribe | Support Us | User Login | Search

Southern Africa Report Archive

SOUTH AFRICA: WHAT NEXT? South Africa; May 10, 1994; Inauguration Day and President Mandela: the old order changes, yielding place to new. And only the most deep-dyed of grinches would question the moment, or even profess any very great scepticism about the extended period of electoral frenzy that led up to it. (jbv)

vol 9 no 5 / vol 10 no 1

Editorial and contents for Vol 9 No5 / Vol 10 No 1
the SAR editorial collective


Printable Version
Southern Africa Report

SAR, Vol 9, No 5 / Vol 10, No 1, July 1994
Double Issue with Work in Progress 97
Page 1
"Editorial"

EDITORIAL:
ELECTION FEVER

South Africa; May 10, 1994; Inauguration Day and President Mandela: the old order changes, yielding place to new. And only the most deep-dyed of grinches would question the moment, or even profess any very great scepticism about the extended period of electoral frenzy that led up to it. True - as Canadian commentator Rick Salutin has written so eloquently of conventional western practice in his Waiting for Democracy - there is, generally, "a difference between politics and elections." But what has just happened in South Africa was something else: a "keeper," a liberation election if ever there was one.

This is what the lead articles in this issue seek to remind our readers. We publish them even as the western media more generally begins to fade out on South Africa, so readily reducing the situation there to just another of those "great stories" that have come . . . and, every bit as quickly, disappeared into the limbo-land of "yesterday's papers." Not so fast, says Hein Marais as his lead article takes us through the various nuances of the election. In addition, we've complemented his piece with the accounts of a number of Canadians who were also lucky enough to accompany the whole process at first hand - to experience the exhilaration of the events and also, in places like the Western Cape and Natal, some of the more disturbing ambiguities that shadowed them. And then there's "the hard part," the next round. As John Saul asks below, "What can those vast numbers [of voters] in their patient queues actually hope for, in terms of changes in the often grim reality of their own daily lives, from the liberation election that their long walk to the polls had so dramatically become?" Perhaps the mainstream media can hurry on, past that question, to other "more pressing" concerns, but it is not one that the ANC can ignore. Nor can it be ignored by whatever is left of the western South African-linked solidarity network. Nor can it be ignored by SAR .

* * *

"What next?," then. This is, in fact, the central theme of the materials assembled in the second section of the present issue of our magazine, materials we've been privileged to inherit from the notable South African journal, Work in Progress (WIP). The first issue of WIP appeared in September, 1977, promising, in its editorial, "to attempt a dialogue on aspects of South African society - or rather, provide a medium through which a dialogue can be carried on." This is a promise that WIP has fulfilled brilliantly ever since, through ninety-five additional issues, these produced, year in, year out, inside the country and often under the most difficult of political circumstances. Now, for reasons WIP 's editor Chris Vick discusses below in introducing our special "What next?" supplement, the magazine is no more.

Surely it is a disturbing omen that this should happen at a point when the new South Africa needs "dialogue" - needs clear thinking and tough, principled debate - as much as the country ever has. Not that "dialogue" will cease in South Africa with the demise of WIP , of course. But the passing of so trenchant and important a voice cannot help but contribute, at least for the moment, to a weakening of "civil society's" capacity to keep genuine liberation on the agenda in South Africa.

Fortunate, then, that WIP has one last sting in its tail: the materials you find collected here - materials that were originally assembled to form the core ingredients of the now phantom issue, #97. We expect readers both within and without South Africa will agree with us that these materials are much too instructive merely to have been left on the cutting-room floor. Discussions ensued between the SAR editorial working group in Toronto and Chris Vick and his Deputy Editor Hein Marais in South Africa about the possibilities of doing something about this situation. The result: we at SAR have been honoured to work closely with the Work in Progress team in bringing, to South African readers and to our own, this one last lively round of WIP . Our special supplement, below, is self-contained and self-explanatory. Enjoy.

* * *

WIP : RIP. Meanwhile, strength to the arm of those who struggle to keep other progressive magazines afloat in South Africa, or to launch new ones. We know perfectly well that, in South Africa, Southern Africa Report can be no substitute for WIP or for other initiatives like it. Still, we invite South African readers who are so inclined to subscribe to our magazine. The inside back cover has the details (and please note that we are distinctly not that Southern Africa Report , edited in South Africa by Raymond Louw, which also started up about a decade ago with - quite by chance - the same name). We like to think we have something useful and progressive to say about South Africa, most often achieved, in any case, by giving a range of South African writers the chance to say it for us. In addition, we seek to analyze global trends that are of relevance to South Africa - whether they be the dynamics of the world-wide capitalist economy on the one hand or the evolution of the international solidarity network on the other.

And we also cover the rest of the sub-continent - even if the current issue has most to say about the end of apartheid (and beyond) in South Africa itself. Nonetheless, we conclude this issue with several pieces on the region that give a flavour of our on- going coverage in this respect: some broader considerations about southern African economic prospects from Colin Stoneman and a more detailed look at recent debates about "land reform" in Zimbabwe by Marit Stiles. So spike the hemlock, gentle WIP readers, with a dash of SAR . The struggle, as they say, continues.

- 30 -

===========================================

Southern Africa Report
Contents - Vol 9 No 5 / Vol 10 No 1
"South Africa: What Next?"
a double issue incorporating
WIP 97

Editorial: Election Fever - 1

`Still No Easy Walk' - 3
by Hein Marais

How the West Was Won: The Coloured Vote in the Western Cape - 10
by David McDonald

Observing the Natal Election: An Empangeni Journal - 14
by Linda Slavin

Observing the Natal Election: The Natal Exception - 17
by Marlea Clarke

"Now for the Hard Part" - 18
by John S Saul

----------------------------------------------

WIP Supplement

WIP Editorial: WIP: RIP - 20

WIP Editorial: What's Next?: The RDP and After - 21

Cosatu Approaches a Crossroads - 21
by Enoch Godongwana

Can the RDP Survive the IMF? - 25
by Vishnu Padayachee

South Africa: Another Ghana? - 29
by Adebayo Olukoshi

Tasks the Government Can't Duck - 31
Women: by Mavivi Manzini

Land: by Sue Wixley and Brendan Pearce - 32
Environment: by David Fig - 34

The RDP: Two Reviews
Half Full? . . . - 36
by Bill Freund
. . . Or Half Empty? - 37
by John S Saul

The Renegade Slovo - 41
by Ighsaan Schroeder

----------------------------------------------

Post-apartheid Southern Africa: How Rosy a Dawn? - 44
by Colin Stoneman

Zimbabwe Land Reform: What's Goin' On? - 48
by Marit Stiles

Otto Roesch 1951-1994 - 52

Printable Version

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s) and not do necessarily reflect the views of the AfricaFiles' editors and network members. They are included in our material as a reflection of a diversity of views and a variety of issues. Material written specifically for AfricaFiles may be edited for length, clarity or inaccuracies.

     top of page

 back to SAR page