The transition to a democratic, elected, non-racial government, which set in motion in early 1990, stirred a debate on the course of economic policies to accomplish sustained economic growth, while at the same time remedying the poverty, and other socio economic discrepancies generated by apartheid government. These include inequality and unemployment (particularly in the black South Africans), corruption, rash in conflict and the most horrible – high rate of crime. This paper examines and compares the level of crimes in the ‘two phases’ (Apartheid and Post Apartheid periods- ‘1994-2005’), and their implications, especially on the socio-economic development in South Africa. The paper further elicits comparative evidence on other socio-economic issues (poverty and inequality, political corruption and conflict) in the two phases and argues that the consolidation of democracy has ameliorated these problems. However, the paper concludes that there are still much improvements needed, particularly on crime. The paper calls on some other African countries to copy a leaf from South Africa’s practical democracy, rather than democracy in principle as the cases in many countries in the continent.
Key words: Democracy, poverty, conflict, political corruption, crime, economic development.
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