Features of Socio-Political Processes in the South of the African Continent in a Crisis (1990s — 2020s)
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Features of Socio-Political Processes in the South of the African Continent in a Crisis (1990s — 2020s)
Publication type
Alexander Zdanevich 
Affiliation: Saint Petersburg State University
Address: Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Twenty-eight years ago, the Republic of South Africa gained its independence. Few believed that the long and tragic period of apartheid (1948 — early 1990s) would end peacefully. For many years in the public, political and scientific circles there were different points of view on possible scenarios for the development of events in the south of the African continent. It seemed clear that any transition from an era of white-minority rule to black-majority rule would spark a bloody civil war. Against all odds, in April 1994, South Africans were able to stay on the very edge of the “chasm” and resist, launching the process of creating a renewed South Africa based on the principles of equality and commonwealth in a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional society. The priorities of independent development and freedom of speech, differentiation of the economy were put at the forefront. The leadership of the country gave basic guidelines for the fair and equal participation of all members of society in the creation and prosperity of the “rainbow nation”, as it was later called. Free democratic elections were held under the auspices of a common effort and a rejection of the mistakes of the past. “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission” was established through the promotion of “National Unity and Reconciliation Act” (No. 34 of 1995), which allowed the country to go through a difficult transition period in a relatively peaceful way. Today, as we watch the evolution of social and political processes in South Africa, we are again trying to assess what has happened in South Africa for more than a quarter of a century and continues to happen today. Last but not least, the reason for this is the current unfavorable political and social situation in South Africa. The problems of modern South Africa are obvious, and, regrettably, were predicted many years ago by critics of the transition period: corruption at all levels of government, youth unemployment, insufficient level of administration and, as a result, a slowdown in economic growth, etc. They can be collectively categorized as “apartheid legacy”, but would such a simplification be fair to South Africans themselves? Looking ahead, we can answer this question in the negative. What actually prevents this country, the richest in every sense, from developing and occupying a leading position at the domestic (continental) and international level? What role has the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is rapidly spreading regionally, globally and on a scale, played at all levels of development in South Africa? Let's try to understand all this, considering the evolution of social and political processes in South Africa itself through the prism of key aspects of the crisis of our time.

South Africa, legacy of apartheid, socio-political processes, crisis
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