South Africa’s twentieth-century politics were dominated by the exploitation and oppression of the majority of the country’s people by its White minority, and by the struggle to establish fundamental social and political equality. After 1948, a key secondary issue was concealed behind this overarching conflict: the implications for the character of political life of increasingly authoritarian single party domination by the NP. The shadow of apartheid continues to hang over the country’s political life. While a democratic system has transformed political participation, politics still turn around two historically familiar issues. How can the vast racial imbalances of wealth and opportunity in the society be reduced? What are the implications of one-party electoral dominance – today of the ANC – for the quality of the country’s new democracy South Africa is a representative democracy with elections at national, provincial and local levels. The 1996 Constitution prescribes that two legislative bodies are to be elected at national level, the NA and the NCOP.
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