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The Uneven Transition from Apartheid in South Africa

Harold Wolpe


On reflection it seems to me that the title that I have offered - The Uneven Transition From Apartheid - is inappropriate. It is surely too soon - only one year after the election of the Government of National Unity - to expect to be able to provide a meaningful balance sheet of a systemic process of transition which has my just begun.

After all, building on three hundred years of white domination, the apartheid system, despite massive opposition, became deeply entrenched under the rule of the National Party from 1948. The transition from apartheid thus involves not merely changes in specific policies, but also extensive cultural and ideological, as well as institutional and social structural, transformations. In short, the actualisation of the transition will amount to nothing less than a revolution of the social order.

It is no doubt true that, given contemporary global and South African conditions, this revolution, if it is to occur, will have to take place through incremental ,hinges over a more or less lengthy period of time, but this makes it all the more operative that these changes should be presented not merely as an inventory of, so to speak, 'abstracted' successes and/or failures but rather as part of an analysis A systemic transformation.

In any event, it makes little sense to place too much weight on specific changes which may have been accomplished over a single year, especially as the reform :)r restructuring of some institutional arrangements may be easier to effect than ethers. The reasons for this are complex and relate both to the structural location of the institutions as well as to the extent to which the nature and degree of change s contested among actors with different and opposing interests. But this makes early diagnosis of systemic change on the basis of specific reforms quite problematic.

Although I will touch on this again later, I want rather to examine some 'underlying assumptions of the major Government of National Unity (GNU) 'policy document - The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) - and of conceptions of the state's relation to the RDP which have barely been the subject of debate and which nevertheless are of importance to the policy process.

It will be convenient to take as a starting point President Mandela's Preface to the Government's White Paper on the Reconstruction and Development Programme. He says:

Our country is going through a profound transformation at all levels of government and society to ensure the implementation of the RDP. At the heart of the Government of National Unity is a commitment to effectively address the problem of poverty and the gross inequality evident in almost all aspects of South African society. This can only be possible if the South African economy can be firmly placed on the path of high and sustainable growth (1994).

Here the fact of 'profound transformation' of part of the system, the political level, is coupled with the Government's commitment to bring about the reconstruction of the still to be transformed social and economic order.

This conception, in one form or another, of the combination of an already accomplished political transformation which provides the political instrument to bring about a future socio-economic transformation, permeates virtually all accounts of contemporary South Africa.

From the standpoint of the ANC and its allies, what is at stake is the completion of the national democratic revolution. That is to say, the establishment of a democratic electoral and parliamentary system and the electoral victory of the ANC are considered to provide the principal-enabling condition and instrument for, in the words of the White Paper, a 'fundamental transformation' of the social and economic order.

The blue print for this fundamental transformation is the Reconstruction and Development Programme. This, the White Paper states:

... is an integrated, coherent socio-economic policy framework.

It. seeks to mobilise all our people and our country's resources towards the final eradication of the results of apartheid and the building of a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist future. It represents a vision for the fundamental transformation of South Africa... (1994:4).

The White Paper sets out six basic principles and five key programmes which the Government must implement.

In summary the basic principles are as. follows:

(a) The need for an 'integrated and sustainable programme' to overcome the legacy of apartheid since piecemeal and uncoordinated policies are inadequate.
(b) The programme must become a people-driven process.
(c) This requires 'peace and security for all'.
(d) The establishment of peace and security will open the way to 'nation building'.
(e) Nation building:

... links reconstruction and development. The RDP is based on the notion that reconstruction and development are part of an integrated process. The RDP integrates growth, development, reconstruction, redistribution and reconciliation into a unified programme.

(f) The realisation of these principles:

... depend on a thorough-going democratisation of South Africa.
... Democratisation will begin to transform both the State and civil society. Democracy is not confined to periodic elections. It is, rather, an active process enabling everyone to contribute to reconstruction and development (1994).

In turn, the principles are translated, at least for the five year period of the Government of National Unity (GNU), into five key programmes. In giving effect to the basic principles through these programmes, the State is accorded ' ... the leading and enabling role' in collaboration with '... a thriving private sector and active involvement by all sectors of civil society' (1994:24). The programmes are:

  • Meeting basic needs
  • Developing human resources
  • Building the economy
  • Democratising the state and society
  • Implementing the RDP -that is it's coordination and planning.

The White Paper sets out at some length more detailed measures to be taken in respect of each of these programmes, although to a large extent, as is to be expected, these measures remain very open-ended and will require much more detailed specification in order to be implemented.

The flavour of these programmes, however, may be gleaned from the report (25 April 1995) of the Minister in charge of the RDP, on the Presidential Lead Projects defined within the programmes and as a mechanism to initiate them. In his report the Minister stated that these projects had been a ' ... major success in transforming government and ensuring delivery'. This assessment was based on the following facts:

(i) The initial stage of a free health care programme resulted in four times more patients than before being treated in the rural area
(ii) 172 clinic buildings would be built or upgraded by April 1996.
(iii) Over 378 000 houses '.were electrified.
(iv) Over five million (the target was 6.8 million) children in 12 800 schools benefited from the primary school nutrition programme.
(v) R1.6 billion over five years had been allocated for urban renewal projects which were being set up.
(vi) 1.3 million people will benefit from water projects which are being set up.

It is difficult to judge how impressive these specific achievements are without comparing them with the detailed picture of the pre-existing position. But more importantly, without an analysis of how these projects link into the overall integrated plan of the RDP (which is insisted upon throughout the White Paper) it is not possible to assess their contribution to 'fundamental transformation'. Thus the projects presented are not positioned in relation to other RDP programmes such as economic growth, job-creation, human resource development, and on their own are perfectly consistent with something far less than systemic 'fundamental transformation', although this of course puts at issue the meaning of the term in the RDP which I will examine shortly.

In a sense this also highlights the difficulty to which I drew attention earlier of attempting to assess the effect of specific measures on 'fundamental transformation' after so short a period of time. At best it may be that a fuller and comparative analysis of the specific projects might provide initial signals of the direction in which the transition is going - in this case a shift of resources towards meeting basic needs.

Be that as it may, my concern is with a different set of questions. The RDP itself and virtually the entire literature around it focuses on the formulation of desired goals and the organisational and administrative mechanisms by means of which these are to be accomplished. As I indicated earlier, the RDP accords the state a principal role in the achievement of these goals. What is absent from the White Paper, and also largely from debates over the RDP, is any discussion of the politics of implementation. Indeed the very terms in which the RDP and the White Paper are cast submerges the central political issues.

By this I mean the following: (a) firstly, while the RDP operates on a deeply contested terrain, in crucial respects it eradicates sources of contradiction and probable contestation and conflict by asserting harmony, (b) secondly, on this basis it constructs a consensual model of society which is the premise for the accomplishment of the goals of the RDP; and thirdly, on the basis of this premise it also conceptualises the state as the unproblematic instrument of the RDP.

The RDP and the State

These five principles depend on a thorough-going democratisation of South Africa.

Democratisation will begin to transform both the state and civil society. Democracy is not confined to periodic elections. It is rather, an active process enabling everyone to contribute to reconstruction and development ... (1994).

At the level of the political system and political discourse, the contrast between present day South Africa and the past could hardly be more dramatic. Within a space of four years after the unbanning of the organisations of the national liberation movement in February 1990, through a process of negotiation the racially-structured and repressive political system gave way to a new, non-racial constitution and to the democratic election in April 1994 of a government committed to consultative and open governance.

This process provided the space for and was accompanied by a remarkable policy debate involving the government, previously excluded political organisations and. organs of civil society, and an array of experts and intellectuals drawn from the democratic movement. The debate has been remarkable not only for the range of policy areas it covered - from the armed forces to water affairs - but more particularly for its preoccupation with issues of accountability, consultation, gender and race inequalities, and for the excitement it has generated among wide sections of the population as well as for its intensity and for its radical content.

All of this, together with the establishment of a democratic parliamentary system and the election of a government committed to social transformation in the terms of the Reconstruction and Development Programme, was in itself something of a revolution - it represented the end of the institutional basis of white minority political rule and in this sense suggests one possible interpretation of the meaning of 'fundamental transformation'.

The question, however, is whether it is sufficient for the purposes of analysing the transitional process to go no further than this general characterisation of the new political system. It may be the case as Sam Shilowa, Secretary General of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, expressed it at a joint COSATU/South African Communist Party Meeting in January 1995 that:

The decisive election victory of the ANC has placed the demands and concerns of the working people firmly on the national agenda, but it is not the case that that victory alone will determine how those demands and concerns will be dealt with.

There is no room here for an extended account of the political system, and I simply want to register the rather obvious point that the balance of power between different actors within the political system outside of the government is of importance. While at the level of government and parliament the ANC, representing a broad constituency of different classes and other interest groups among the people, is dominant, within civil society strong organisations in the private sector, trade unions, civic organisations and community-based non­government organisations exert their own diverse interests. In the new South African dispensation, these organs of civil society are brought into relationship with one another and with the state through consultative bodies which have been set up by the government in many areas - housing, science and technology policy. health and so on. Within these bodies and in other venues conflicting interests find their expression and have effects on the actual trajectory of government/state policy and hence on social change. However, I want to discuss more particularly the underlying conception of the state in the White Paper. In chapter two, which refers to the government but is in fact concerned with the state, an elaborate set of organisational changes, mechanisms and procedures are defined to forge the state into an instrument to carry out the RDP:

... every office of government, from the smallest village council to the largest national department, will have to be restructured to take forward the RDP (1994:12).

This conception of the state as a functionally integrated instrument carrying out the behests of an external agency, whether a dominant class or government, has a long history and has been heavily criticised both theoretically and empirically. I do not intend to traverse this debate here, but rather I want to indicate how problematic this notion is under contemporary South African conditions.

There are a number of factors which subvert the reduction of the state to a simple instrument of a particular agency. The first of these lies in die very origins of the reformed political system.

The detailed analysis of the history of the 1980s and 1990s need not detain us here other than to note that firstly, the apartheid-induced impasse of the South African economy predisposed the dominant forces to seek a reformist path out of the apartheid system, and this was reinforced by international and internal political factors including the fact that, despite the regime's military/security power, it was unable to destroy the mass democratic and trade union movement which had emerged so strongly and with such deep roots among the masses in the 1980s.

At the same time the democratic, political and trade union movements were not strong enough to overthrow the regime. Although the combined effect of international pressure, mass mobilisation, underground work, armed struggle and trade union pressure was powerful enough to drive the government to the negotiating table, it was not sufficient to dislodge it.

The unbanning of the ANC and of the South A' f ican Communist Party on the 2 February 1990 signalled the incapacity of the ruling bloc to continue to 'rule in the old way', but it did not amount, by any means either, to the overthrow of the dominant forces or to the defeat of the regime. The negotiations which began in 1990 were initiated through the defensive actions taken by the regime in an attempt to solve the economic and political crisis while it and its social supports were still in possession of the instruments of state and economic power.

The outcome of the negotiations included agreement on an interim constitution which provided for power-sharing in the form of a Government of National Unity, and the allocation of greater powers to the nine new provinces than perhaps the ANC may have wanted, and a political settlement involving the adoption of the so-called 'sunset clauses' which politically protected incumbents of the civil service from dismissal.

Although the ANC is by far the largest party having obtained over 60 percent of the vote, nevertheless the establishment of the Government of National Unity enables the, National and Inkatha Freedom Parties, both in the Cabinet, to exercise an important influence in a variety of ways on the policy of the Government and on the operation of the bureaucracy.

In some instances these influences are quite obvious, as for example in decisions regarding the composition of Government-appointed Commissions. Thus, to cite only one example, at the insistence of Deputy-President de Klerk three central figures in the apartheid education and research structures were appointed to the twelve person National Commission on Higher Education.

In other cases die influence is more subtle and more complicated, as iii the matter of the Budget presented by the Minister of Finance who is not a member of the ANC. It is by no means clear that this budget addressed the concerns of the working class as understood by COSATU.

The constitutional distribution of powers to the provincial governments also constitutes a condition which disrupts the possibility of the state functioning as a simple instrument of policy implementation. This applies not only when, as in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, the provincial ruling parties are opposed to the ANC, but also in a similar way to ANC provincial governments. The fact is that there are regional sources of conflict related to the definition of regional interests which may well be in conflict with those defined centrally. Furthermore, the role accorded to civil society in die formulation and implementation of policy to which I referred earlier, also operates as an obstacle to a simple state instrumentalism.

In general, the most cogent reasons for refusing the instrumentalist conception of the state lies in the structural conditions of the state itself, Thus firstly, the contradictions and conflicts between functionally differentiated state departments are pervasive. The most public example in South Africa has been the claim of the Defence Department fur the expenditure of two billion rands on new corvettes against the demands from the health, housing and education ministries for this sum to be spent on basic needs programmes.

The second structural condition is to be found in the division between the civil service and the political apparatuses of the state. In contemporary South Africa this has been and continues to be particularly important. The existing civil service was shaped during the 46 years of National Government rule and, in general, it fulfilled its functions according to the tenets of that government. The 'sunset clauses' to which I referred earlier is one of the reasons (another being the shortage of blacks with the requisite training) for the fact that the replacement of the incumbent civil servants in high level posts has been extremely slow. As a consequence most Ministers have to rely heavily on a senior civil service steeped in the precepts of apartheid.

There are numerous instances of government policies being frustrated or hampered by civil servants hostile to the regime or unable to adjust to the new demands imposed by a new regime under new conditions. One or two examples will illustrate the point. In a recent article in the Sunday Times it was reported that the ANC Minister of Public Works had attacked senior management for inefficiency, adherence to old, apartheid priorities and for acting to protect certain interests'. As the paper commented:

The unprecedented public row captured the tensions between the old guard in the civil service and the ANC over attempts to transform the country (9 April 1995).

Other examples relate to the unauthorised revision by civil servants of policy documents including white papers, and deliberate delays in carrying out instructions.

What the above discussion points to is the inadequacy of the assumption that the state can be conceived of as a simple, homogeneous, consensual entity in the shape of an instrument which, in a straight-forward and unproblematic manner, will carry out the RDP. This is not to argue that, as against this, the state and political system should be viewed as an array of autonomous institutions. Rather the configuration of apparatuses which comprise the state should be seen as constituting a contradictory unity in which the various apparatuses are not only linked in a relation of coordination, but may also be linked in a relation of contestation. The latter relation may serve to impede the attainment of particular goals.

As I suggested earlier, the instrumental conception of the state offered in the RDP is grounded in the consensual model which underpins that document, and it is this which I now want to address.

Consensual Foundations of the RDP

The RDP is premised (a) on the assertion of the reconcilability of apparently conflicting goals and (b) on an assumed consensus about the meaning of 'fundamental transformation'. The effect of this is the construction of a functional, evolutionary model of change which echoes the teleology of modernisation theory.

The central proposition of the RDP was expressed by President Mandela in his Preface to the White Paper:

The interdependence of the objectives of reconstruction and development on the one hand and growth on the other is now widely accepted, not only within the Government and the Parliament, but indeed throughout South African society (1994).

This position is reiterated and emphasised at a number of points in the text and is expressed as one of the six basic principles of the RDP:

... nation-building links reconstruction and development. The RDP is based on the notion that reconstruction and development are part of an integrated process. The RDP integrates growth, development, reconstruction, redistribution and reconciliation into a unified programme.,. This programme will both meet basic needs and open up previously suppressed economic and human

potential in urban and rural areas ... For this process to be effective, attention will be paid to those economic factors inhibiting growth and investment and placing obstacles in the way of private sector expansion (1994).

Of course the problem of simultaneously bringing about economic growth and development in the sense of meeting 'basic needs' and enhancing the quality of life of the population faces all 'modem' societies in different ways and at different levels. Essentially the question is one of resource allocation. It is well-known that the question of how resources should be allocated has been answered in various ways in different countries and in different periods.

In some instances faith has been placed on the free market as the mechanism of economic growth, leaving basic needs and living standards to be satisfied by means of a 'trickle down' effect. In other societies the freeing up of resources for investment in economic growth has been achieved by curtailing basic needs claims through the suppression of trade unions and political repression. Yet again in social democratic corporatist regimes the distribution of resources between economic growth and basic needs has been arrived at in sometimes a more consensual way.

What is significant is that whatever the method of resource allocation, the intractable tensions between development and growth are ever present because of limited resources. These tensions find their expression in the contestations between various social groups or forces around the setting of priorities. These social forces may include class organisations, civic organisations, ethnic groupings, political parties and others each with different interests. The extent and intensity of conflict around allocation will vary according to the social, structural, economic and power position of the different groupings.

The deep inequalities of race, class and gender generated by the apartheid system provide fertile conditions for sharp divisions over the question of the distribution of resources to economic growth or the meeting of basic needs. This is not to suggest that a zero-sum distribution is a necessary outcome or that a balance between growth and needs cannot be arrived at. But it is to suggest that these tensions cannot be eliminated by fiat of the RDP.

That this is so is shown by the fact that some social groups do not accept the RDP's concept of an integrated relationship between development and growth ... Thus some elements of capital argue for export-led economic growth, frequently citing the NIC models with approval as the sine qua non for meeting basic needs through a trickle-down effect. Other sectors, such as the growing fraction of black capital, the black recipients of affirmative action benefits, and sections of the white middle strata who owed their privileged position to the apartheid system, also do not necessarily privilege basic needs in conformity with the RDP, although they may accept the moral and political necessity for the problem to be dealt with.

Interestingly enough, in the penultimate paragraph of the White Paper, it is recognised that organisations of civil society do have and should have their 'own aims and goals', but the possible conflicts around these are immediately offset by dissolving the differences into the goals of the RDP The partnership and national consensus does not mean that different constituencies and organisations of civil society cannot or should not have their own aims and goals. It does, however, mean that they should attempt to make those aims and goals consistent with the aims of the RDP and of renewal of our society in a conscious and honest process. It is essential that organisations of civil society do, in fact, have clear goals which reflect the real interests of their members, but they should lead their members in attempting to align those goals with the RDP (1994:54).

This presupposes firstly, that the goals of the RDP are unequivocal and subject to a single interpretation (die consensus) and that the goals of the organisations of civil society can be 'aligned' with them. Perhaps this is no more clearly expressed than in certain passages dealing with the economy in which it is simply assumed that there are not, or need not be, substantial differences of interests between the private sector and other classes in South African society.

The RDP presupposes a consensus about basic needs. Or the one hand, 'the people' as an undifferentiated category will support and drive the RDP to meet those needs and to grow the economy as an essential condition of sustainability.

On the other hand, capital shares these goals of 'the people'. But surely the very terms of the White Paper indicate possible major sources of conflict.

In Building the Economy, we will identify our strengths and tackle our weaknesses. Mining, manufacturing, agriculture, commerce, financial services and infrastructure are well developed.... These are strengths upon which we can build. However, so far they have not benefited all our people. A process of reconstruction is proposed to ensure that these strengths now benefit everyone. We will also address serious weaknesses in our economy. There are still very clear racial and gender inequalities in ownership, employment and skills. Past industrial policies were an important factor in developing industry, but were also accompanied by repressive labour practice, neglect of training, isolation from the world economy and excessive concentration of economic power... (1994:9).

Yet the overemphasis on consensus which underpins the White Paper allows the conflicting and contradictory interests embedded in these conditions and around which the politics of implementation of the RDP will be and indeed is already being organised, to be effaced.

The effect then of taking a consensual model of society as the point of departure is that it permits starkly different and contradictory goals to be accommodated within a particular policy framework, and the need to examine possible social contestations around these goals is thereby obscured if not eliminated. This may be illuminated by reference to the analysis of Adelzadeh and Padayachee of the policy changes between the RDP Base Document and the White Paper (1994).

The core of Adelzadeh and Padayachee's commentary is captured in the following passages:

To argue that the RDP Base Document and the WP should be read as complementary suggests a continuity of economic strategy and policy between them which simply does not exist. The dropping of nationalisation, even as a policy option, and the fact that privatisation creeps in in many places, albeit in disguise ('the sale of state assets'), is only the most obvious amongst these. The changes in principle, detail and emphasis go well beyond this single and obvious example (1994:3)...

In this paper we will argue that the RDP WP represents a very significant compromise to the neo-liberal, 'trickle down' economic policy preferences of the old regime, despite regular assurances from key economic ministers' in the GNU that only the - language of the WT has changed to accommodate a wider constituency of interests (1994:2).

Insofar as their analysis is correct - and the detailed discussion of the changes are extremely convincing - we are left with the curious position that two radically divergent and, indeed, opposed conceptions of the 'official' RDP (Base Document and White Paper) are both presented as falling quite unproblematically, within the asserted consensus. But surely this poses two questions:

(a) Firstly, how is the apparent consensus around the RDP to be understood in relation to the divergent interests of the social forces involved? Adelzadeh and Padayachee refer to this issue:

In assessing the WP care needs to be taken not to exaggerate its significance by reading it as directly or instrumentally reflecting the balance of economic and political power within the ANC (or GNU), in the light of the particular circumstances by which it came to be produced and the 'shifting internal dynamic of the alliance that has made up the democratic movement' (1994:1)

They did not, however, undertake such an analysis in the context of their commentary.

(b) More important perhaps is the question of the social conflicts which are likely to emerge as the result of the RDP policies actually implemented, however broadly based the agreement leading to the adoption may have been. Adelzadeh and Padayachee summarise the sources of these conflicts:

An essentially neo-liberal RDP strategy, which is what we are left with, may well generate some level of economic growth; should this happen, the existing mainly white and Indian bourgeoisie will be consolidated and strengthened; the black bourgeoisie will grow rapidly; a black middle class and some members of the black urban working class will become incorporated into the magic circle of insiders; but for the remaining 60-70 per cent of our society this growth path, we venture to predict, will deliver little or nothing for many years to come (1994:16).

The RDP and `Fundamental Transformation'

The RDP, as I have been at pains to emphasise, is not merely a statement of specific policies, but a comprehensive programme for fundamental transformation. The White Paper states:

South African society is in need of transformation and renewal ...
It will be a long and arduous process, but ... a fundamental transformation nonetheless (will be accomplished) (1994:1)

What is meant by 'fundamental transformation'? Again to quote the White paper

(The) integrated process of transformation must ensure that the country

  • develops strong and stable democratic institutions and practices characterised by representativeness and participation becomes a fully democratic and non-racial society
  • becomes a prosperous society having embarked upon a sustainable and environmentally friendly growth and development path
  • addresses the moral and ethical development of society (1994:4).

The achievement of these general goals read together with the detailed laboration in the RDP would undoubtedly represent a fundamental on:on of the racially-structured apartheid social order. In other words, the RDP deals with the elimination of racial and gender inequalities, with the eradication if poverty which is prevalent particularly amongst black people, with non-racial democracy, with the deracialisation of the economy and so on.

But what the RDP does not put in issue is the question of the continuity of the capitalist system in South Africa. All the defined `fundamental' transformations re to take place within the orbit of a transformed capitalism. In a sense, the RDP s an impressive programme for welfare capitalism coupled with a strong emphasis on the role of civil society and the democratisadon of the economy. It seeks to democratise the economy and empower the historically oppressed, particularly the workers and their organisations, by encouraging broader participation in decisions about the economy in both the private and public sector (1994:25).

Throughout the RDP, as I have shown, the encouragement and development of the private sector is stressed.

The contrast between the goals of the RDP and socialism as a more fundamental transfomation is drawn out in the Draft Strategy and Tactics Document of the south African Communist Party. The Party sees the struggle for the implementation of the RDP as 'The main content of the new phase of the National ) Democratic Revolution'. The task is to carry
... the logic and assumptions of democracy - majority rule, participation, empowerment, answerability, equality of citizenship - into all other spheres of our society t the economic, cultural, and in regard to gender relations. The Reconstruction and Development Programme maps out the broad lines for advance on these fronts (1994:8).

This, it is stated, is '... also die most direct route towards socialism in our country' (1994:7).

Socialism, according to the Draft Strategy, is characterised by three core features:

  • democracy
  • equality
  • the socialisation of the predominant part of the economy (1994:13).

It is the third point which, despite the fact that it is expressed in the conventional form of the socialist tradition and makes no attempt to explore a radical reformulation of property relations, demarcates the national democratic revolution (the RDP) from the construction of a socialist order. The crucial issue for the SACP is how the construction of a stable capitalist society able to fulfil the goals of the RDP will provide the conditions for the transition to socialism, particularly given the present global system, in one country. This is not an issue which is posed in the RDP.

Nor has it been the purpose of this discussion to suggest that the RDP should outline a socialist policy. I have used the SACP's programme merely to point to the contrasting conceptions of 'fundamental transformation' which may themselves become a source of contestation in the future.


To conclude, my concern has not been to oppose the RDP and its attempt to define a path of radical deracialisation and social development. Particularly, given the legacy of apartheid, the RDP sets out exemplary goals of social transformation. My purpose has been rather to contribute to the analysis, which is only in its infancy, of the crucial conditions t conflicts of interests, social forces and power relations t which may impede or facilitate the realisation of key goals of the RDP. Here I have tried to identify some of the questions which need to be dealt with and which could not, perhaps, be dealt with in the RDP or the White Paper, given the nature of these documents - and which have not, as yet, been dealt with in any depth elsewhere. But the analysis of these issues, I suggest, is central to the realisation and implementation of policies for social transformation.


Adelzadeh, A and V Padayachee (1994) 'The RDP White Paper: reconstruction of a development vision?', Transformation, 25.
South African Communist Party, Draft Strategy on Tactics, 1994.
White Paper on Reconstruction and Development: A Strategy for Fundamental Transformation, 1995