chapter  10
24 Pages

Civil society and participatory governance in South Africa: The quest for socioeconomic equity in the post-apartheid era


The models proposed in this book might not fully explain the experience of South Africa. A fifth model of civil society which might be termed the ‘radical civil society’ model may be necessary for a better understanding of the notion and evolution of civil society in the specific political and historical context of this country. This model perceives exclusion from the formal policy-making sphere as a key element in the action of what has turned out to be the most combative segment of civil society, i.e. the post-apartheid social movements. Social movements provide an essential input to the participatory governance structures despite their operation outside these structures, thus leading to the revitalisation and reinforcement of civil society’s critical voice, which in turn is a necessary precondition for the functioning of democracy in the context of South African post-apartheid politics, monopolised by a single party.