Charges of government corruption have led to civil unrest, particularly among the young, in South Africa.

In the 1990s, South Africa became a promising new democracy devoted to serving the needs of all citizens while helping to stabilize situations in neighboring countries. In the quarter century since the historic election of Nelson Mandela, the country has suffered from numerous challenges that indicate Mandela’s vision is nearly lost.

Two decades of corrupt leadership, rising authoritarian oppression, wildfire epidemics, climate change, and a growing youth population that doesn’t recall the abuses of apartheid have left the country in a precarious condition with an uncertain future.

On Thursday (March 22) from 2:30-4:30 pm, The Arizona Senior Academy will host “South Africa’s Fragile Democracy,” the sixth of the Foreign Policy Association’s “Great Decisions 2018” series in the ASA Great Room.

This presentation/discussion will focus on the recent history of political and social trends in South Africa, including the many important changes that have occurred in recent months since publication of the original Great Decisions program materials.

Topics will include an examination of the devolution, corruption and infighting that have weakened the African National Congress, the rise of youth political power, conflicts over immigration, unending drought, and perhaps most importantly, the raging epidemic of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Discussion will include: Possible scenarios for the near future of South Africa, the current status and future of foreign aid from the U.S., the factors that lead to weakened and failed states, the effects of extreme income disparity, and efforts to remove barriers to healthcare delivery.

For further information on “Great Decisions 2018” visit the Foreign Policy Association website at .

Written by John Evans, Academy Village Volunteer


South Africa’s Fragile Democracy:March 2018