9 July 2018

South Africa: Land and Mining Dialogues - the More We Talk, the Further Away From Each Other We Walk


A widespread, deep and thorough consultative process has often been put forward as the solution to fixing the deep-rooted cracks in South African society. But the consultation over land reform, the mining charter and the general state of race relations in South Africa seems to be proving that these cracks are far too deep to be mended. It's almost as if South Africans need years of trauma counselling to find each other - but even that will be a useless exercise if the inequality gap persists.

For years, intelligentsia, civil society and even politicians like Bantu Holomisa believed that a national dialogue would heal the wounds of South Africans in a way that would truly put the past behind and open up the road for the future.

It was even proposed at the height of State Capture, when former presidents FW de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki proposed that a national dialogue is what South Africa needed. While that initiative was moot from the beginning, it was meant to be a type of trauma counselling for the nation.

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