The transition to democracy in South Africa deepened the structural inequalities inherited from apartheid, and notwithstanding the democratic gains the transition has reinforced the power and wealth of the apartheid ruling classes. The current crisis in South Africa owes its origins to these features of the transition.
The struggles between President Zuma and Pravin Gordhan has been portrayed as anti-corruption struggles against one individual and one family. The reality is that what the struggle is about attempts by a black middle class that has been blocked from accessing the commanding heights of the economy, and a white monopoly capitalist class that still exercises enormous power in South African society.
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