In 1977 R W Johnson’s best-selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? provided a controversial analysis of the survival prospects of the apartheid regime. Now, after more than twenty years of ANC rule, he believes the situation has become so critical that the question must be posed again. He moves from an analysis of Jacob Zuma’s rule to the increasingly dire state of the South African economy, concluding that the country is heading towards a likely International Monetary Fund bail-out, which will in turn lead to a regime change of some kind.
In this updated edition, Johnson takes in recent events such as Nenegate and the growth of the patronage state, the student protests at tertiary institutions and the fierce factionalism within the ANC. He analyses the teetering economy, the parlous state of government institutions such as SAA and SABC, and the role that ethnicity plays within the ANC and more broadly.
Johnson’s analysis is strikingly original. He has for several decades been a senior commentator on South African affairs, known for his complete lack of deference towards conventional wisdom.