From people's education to neo-liberalism in South Africa

Type Journal Article - Review of African Political Economy
Title From people's education to neo-liberalism in South Africa
Volume 34
Issue 111
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
Page numbers 39-56
In his address at the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Foundation for Human Rights in Pretoria, 29 November 2006 Neville Alexander posed the following question:
Why is it that in spite of a constitution that was arrived at in a 20th century model of democratic bargaining and consensus building and in which are enshrined some of the noblest sentiments and insights concerning human rights, we are living in a situation where very few of those rights appear to be realised, or even realisable, in practice?
This paper attempts to answer this question through an analysis of the struggle to attain education rights in South Africa. This exercise it is hoped, will also allow us to further unravel the class nature of the South African state, the political economy of the transition (for extensive and excellent analysis of the latter see Marais, 1998; Bond, 2000 and Alexander, 2002) and the importance of the oppositional role of the new and independent social movements.

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