28 Sep Can we have social justice in a divided society?
Posted at 11:39h in Media and News
South African society is fast becoming more polarised, especially around issues relating to key government policy positions such as land and the national health insurance. Matched with revelations around endemic corruption in government and the perceived abandonment of the concept of non-racialism by the ruling party, polarisation is becoming entrenched along South Africa’s fault lines of race and class. It appears that absolutely nothing is being done to avoid this polarisation and it almost seems as though nobody really cares.
The question therefore is – can we achieve social justice in a divided society? Should social justice not be seen in conjunction with a growth in social cohesion across the country? Why do we always choose the most alienating ways to engage, rather than finding ways to come together? Fighting against something always means that there must be an enemy on the other side and this word is used both by politicians and civil society activists. Do we seriously believe that other South Africans are “the enemy”? Is this what we want to achieve – real polarisation that may go too far and become irreversible? If we envisage a time in the future when the enemy has been vanquished, what future are we looking at? It is all very well to say that this is just rhetoric, but people targeted as “the enemy” will eventually respond.