Shadow of Liberation: Contestation and Compromise in the Economic and Social Policy of the African National Congress, 1943-1996

Wits University Press
292 pages
Paperback / softback (9781776143955)
Digital download (9781776143962)
Digital download (9781776143986)

Shadow of Liberation explores in intricate detail the twists, turns, contestations and compromises of the African National Congress’ economic and social policy-making, with a particular emphasis on the transition era of the 1990s and the early years of democracy. Padayachee and Van Niekerk focus on the primary question of how and why the ANC, given its historical egalitarian, redistributive stance, did such a dramatic about-face in the 1990s and moved towards an essentially market-dominated approach. Was it pushed or did it go willingly? What role, if any, did Western governments and international financial institutions play? And what of the role of the late apartheid state and South African business? Did leaders and comrades ‘sell out’ the ANC’s emancipatory policy vision?
Drawing on primary archival evidence as well as extensive interviews with key protagonists across the political, non-government and business spectrum, the authors argue that the ANC’s emancipatory policy agenda was broadly to establish a social democratic welfare state to uphold rights of social citizenship. However, its economic policy framework to realise this mission was either non-existent or egregiously misguided.

Acronyms and Abbreviations
Chapter 1 Setting the Scene on ANC Economic and Social Policy
Chapter 2 African Claims, the Freedom Charter and Social Democracy, 1943–1960
Chapter 3 Incarceration, Exile and Homecoming, c.1960–c.1991
Chapter 4 Economic Policy Debates during a Decade of Liberation, 1985–1993
Chapter 5 On the Way to GEAR, 1994–1996
Chapter 6 Making Sense of the Economic Policy Debates
Chapter 7 South African Reserve Bank Independence
Chapter 8 The Politics of Health Policy-Making in the Transition Era
Chapter 9 Interpretation and Conclusion
Select Bibliography