Can South Africa Survive?: Five Minutes To Midnight

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Can South Africa Survive?: Five Minutes To Midnight

Edited by John D. Brewer
St. Martin's, 1989
350 pp. $49.95

This volume offers a reprise on R.W. Johnson's notable 1977 study, How Can South Africa Survive?, which argued that South Africa's clock would remain locked at five minutes to midnight for some time to come; ten years later, the experts weighing in here would set the hands at four minutes and some-odd seconds. While not predicting the imminent demise of apartheid, collectively they do an excellent job of pinpointing the important changes since Johnson: most importantly, the chinks that have appeared in Afrikanerdom and the growth of institutions supporting black protest. In the last decade, South Africa's internal balance has shifted discernibly, for while white repressive power has increased, government reforms have failed and at the same time created opportunities for black politics.

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