How long will South Africa Survive?: the crisis continues
In 1977, RW Johnson’s best-selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? provided a controversial and highly original analysis of the survival prospects of apartheid. Now, after more than twenty years of ANC rule, he believes the situation has become so critical that the question must be posed again.
‘The big question about ANC rule’, he writes, ‘is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill-equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted. The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both.’
Johnson’s analysis is strikingly original and cogently argued. He has for several decades now been the senior international commentator on South African affairs, known for his lucid analysis and complete lack of deference towards the conventional wisdom.
About the author
RW Johnson is an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and was the only South African Rhodes Scholar to return to live in South Africa after the fall of apartheid. He has published twelve books, scores of academic articles and innumerable articles for the international press.
His former students include three members of the current British cabinet, an editor of The Economist and a large number of leading academics and journalists. He lives in Cape Town.
Author R W Johnson
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