Society, State, Nation and the People in the Democratic South Africa: Two Decades of Illusions in The Practice of Public Administration, Development Planning and Management

N.W. Nkuna, J.P. Tsheola


The purpose of this article is to provide a conceptual argument in that as South Africa transcended beyond its democratic dispensation, an opportunity was missed in the process leading to transition to define a society, state, nation and the people for sustaining the democratic founding for purposes of public administration practice, development planning and management. That is done by critically portraying South Africa as a society, state, nation and locating the people for governance purposes within a democratic founding. It is argued that attempts are made to rewrite the history of the country with a view of bolstering its societal status, nation, state and the people without a profound context. South Africa has become what it is today due to its history that remains its defining factor if it has to locate its society, state, nation and the people. Having lost that opportunity during transition, governance has become so unwieldy in that those assigned with authority in the governance landscape, tend to confuse the roles of society, nation, state and the people and that eventually strain the fragile democracy by distorting the facts and the role of constitutional apparatus that are instrumental to the country’s democratic founding. The conclusion is rather pessimistic in that as long as these issues are not properly located within the governance landscape; the democratic dispensation remains vulnerable for demise just like other democracies within the African continent with the potential of the middle class hijacking it from the vulnerable poor majority being the people that public administration practice has to serve.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n2s1p613

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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