Beyond apocalypse: Rethinking capitalism, democracy and crisis in SA (17 - 19 September 2024)

Tuesday, 17 September, 2024 - 18:00

Thirty years since the end of apartheid the public mood in South Africa is pessimistic.
Loadshedding, crime and corruption dominate headlines, while opinion makers wring their
hands about opportunities lost and paths not taken. But bemoaning the current state of the
country does little to explain the complexities of South Africa and holds even less
explanatory power for understanding how we got where we are today. While there has
been much in the past thirty years that have been fraught, South Africa’s democracy has
also been characterized by contradictory pulls and pressures, booms and bust across
society. Does South Africa still symbolize a hopeful resolution to racial conflict or is South
Africa simply a byword for corruption? Does South Africa mean inequality or is it the poster
child for ‘African Development’? How should we understand the complexities and seeming
contradictions that South Africa represents? This workshop brings together people from a
range of different backgrounds – academics, activists, public intellectuals, practitioners – to
take stock of thirty years of South African democracy and consider how to move beyond the
apocalyptic narratives of South Africa’s imminent collapse.

WISER Research Theme: