Constitution: Trevor Manuel Lights the Way

Published on 4th September 2012

The observations made by South Africa Planning Minister Trevor Manuel during the third Carnegie inquiry are noteworthy. According to the Minister, South Africa’s constitution should not be blamed for the country’s slow pace of development since change entails an active citizenry, leadership at individual level and a government that is responsive to the needs of its people.

In light of Trevor’s admission, the government of South Africa and its citizenry must urgently seize this opportunity to identify why a majority of native South Africans feel disenfranchised and their voices muffled with brutal and fatal force, with a view of addressing the socio-economic discontent brewing in the country.

Africa’s citizenry need constitutions that fulfill their aspirations, give them an opportunity to manage their economic affairs, as well as bake and eat their own cake. While a constitution is good on paper, it will never liberate Africa unless both the leadership and citizenry resolve to operate within its provisions, steer away from personality worship and nip in the bud the activities of powerful self-interest groups that seek to manipulate it to their own advantage.

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