What it is to be a South African citizen

Citizenship is both a relationship to the state in power and to one’s fellow citizens but 20 years into democracy citizenship in South Africa is far from a settled concept or experience. Millions of South Africans can vote but cannot influence daily politics in their immediate surroundings. And foreigners and asylum seekers among us find this to be a hostile, angry country in which their own status is extremely precarious. Recently we’ve seen the return of the same kind of tactics the apartheid government used being turned on citizens whose voices and opinions should have greater weight with those in power. Adam Habib, Joy Owen and Laurence Piper discuss the complications and challenges of South African citizenship now.


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