South Africa's Persistent Social ills Post-1994 and the Deterioration of the African National Congress (ANC): Is the Country Heading towards a Failing State?




ANC, Corruption, Failing State, Governance, South Africa


This article investigates the increasing and continuous social ills that millions of South African individuals have faced since the ushering of a democratic government in 1994. It claims that the African National Congress (ANC) is yearly losing its grip on its power to run the country and alter the current development hurdles. This is against growing dissatisfaction with the ruling party of poor service delivery, corruption, state capture, and maladministration, among other dynamics. Post-1994, the realities of changing society and putting in place the bold development aspirations of a newly democratic country put more spotlight on the institutions and fiscal arrangements that could, mindful of ecological constrictions and economic ambitions, deliver much-needed essential services to people experiencing poverty. However, lessons from this are that irrespective of some achievements; the country has continued to witness significant challenges, particularly the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty, and inequality in an era where the ANC continues to lose power and grip in many municipalities. However, it is argued in this article that the ANC might not necessarily lose control in the next decade, nor will South Africa become a failed state. Nevertheless, it will face the uncertainty of more fighting and losing more grip as parties such as the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) gain more political ground yearly. The article is based on a qualitative research approach through secondary data sources, including journal articles, books, chapters in books, credible newspapers, and online sources.


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How to Cite

Mlambo, Daniel N., and Xolani Thusi. 2023. “South Africa’s Persistent Social Ills Post-1994 and the Deterioration of the African National Congress (ANC): Is the Country Heading towards a Failing State?”. Politeia 42 (1):18 pages .



Received 2023-10-11
Accepted 2023-11-21
Published 2023-12-28