How Long Will South Africa Survive?

The Looming Crisis

R.W. Johnson



In 1977, Johnson's best selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? offered a controversial and highly original analysis of the survival prospects of apartheid. Now, after more than two decades of the ANC in government, he believes the question must be posed again. "The big question about ANC rule," Johnson writes, "is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted. The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both.


[Johnson's] newest book speaks to the corruption that now riddles the country's body politic. As a result, it is increasingly up to the country's politicians, economic and business leaders and others to explain how they, if they were in charge, would arrest the decay and reverse the process. The country clearly wants to hear such things and is increasingly hungry for solid answers. - Daily Maverick


R.W. Johnson is an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and was the only South African Rhodes Scholar to return home after the fall of apartheid. He has published twelve books, scores of academic articles and innumerable articles for the international press.