Apartheid, Globalization, and South Africa Essay

Apartheid, Globalization, and South Africa Essay

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Introduction

In 1991 President Frederik Willem de Klerk of South Africa succumbed to the pressures of international economic sanctions, officially repealed the apartheid laws and called for the drafting of a new constitution. Just three years later, Nelson Mandela became the President of South Africa in the country’s first multi-racial election. Apartheid’s end may never have come, however, were it not for the improved efficiency of communication between states, the increased economic interdependency between those states, and the emergence of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) that make national borders all but invisible and chip away at Westphalian sovereignty. The existence of such factors allowed for International Organizations (IOs) such as the United Nations to call state governments’ attention to the crimes against humanity committed in South Africa each day, and it allowed those governments to act effectively. Yet the Black, Coloured, and Asian people of South Africa are not singing globalization’s praises.

In point of fact, historically globalization has done far more harm than good to the natives of South Africa. Globalization is by no means a fundamentally new phenomena but rather a thickening of preexisting networks of interdependence. (Keohane and Nye 2000). After the industrial revolution in Europe and the surge in international trade in the mid 1800s globalization soon took hold of South Africa. The discovery of diamonds in the territory in approximately 1900 increased the land’s value significantly as it could be exploited by the colonists to generate substantial monetary gains. Following the Boer War with English invaders thirsty to share in the profits of the mineral rich land, the ...


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...tiglitz suggests, the supranationals need to remove conditionality from their loan agreements and pay closer attention to the domestic needs of the countries they aim to help. Superpowers like the United States need to practice what they preach, and stop protecting their own markets while plundering others. (Stiglitz, 2001) Only this fused effort of dedication and hard work by the ANC with increased aid from IOs based on less one-sided terms will pave the way to sustainable equality in South Africa. The plateauing environmental degradation is an example of this process. In this case, South Africa observed a shift from sharp degradation to the “sustainable development” they sought. Sovereignty has been all but lost in South Africa in the past decade, and its people and land suffered. Its gradual restoration will pave the way to recovery and eventual prosperity.

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