Make or Break: How the Next Three Years will Shape South Africa's Next Three Decades

The next three years will determine whether South Africa succeeds or fails in the long term. Make or Break predicts the country's next three decades.
19.08.22 (end of company holiday)
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Title: Make or Break
Subtitle: How the Next Three Years will Shape South Africa's Next Three Decades
Author: Richard Calland
Genre: Current affairs
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Imprint: Zebra Press
Cape Town, South Africa 2016
ISBN 9781776090761 / ISBN 978-1-77609-076-1
Softcover, 15 x 23 cm, 208 pages


What are the five stages of grief? Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Make or Break: How the Next Three Years will Shape South Africa's Next Three Decades was finished in the immediate aftermath of South Africa's stunning election result, when ANC's internal process had already reached the bargaining stage, as the coalition discussions unfolded behind closed doors. Their outcome, crucial as it will be for the future of South African politics, was unknown when we went to print. So the question of what particular combinations of parties would form governments in Nelson Mandela Bay and the metropolitan councils of Tshwane (Pretoria) and Johannesburg remained unanswered. My instinct tells me that the story will run for a long time, with many a twist and turn. Make or Break was written quickly, in two months from the middle of April 2016 to the middle of June.

But not quickly enough. Originally intended to come out in July, ahead of the August election, a decision was rightly taken to hold publication until after the results became available. That meant a rather frantic rewrite not only of the chapter on the election, but also of various other sections in the book, such was the impact of the results, so that it could still be brought out in record time. The writing was on the wall: the ANC, with its rotten leader, had lost its way, and the electorate was onto them. South Africa, it turns out, has a robust, multiparty, competitive democracy after all. And the game-changing quality of the election results was even more striking than anticipated. The people spoke, and with a sharp tongue. But what will happen now? Will it nudge South Africa's political trajectory onto a more positive plane?

Or will it simply serve to disappoint, masking the underlying, stubborn structural economic obstacles to progress and prosperity? There is hope and uncertainty in equal measure across the nation. On one level, the election result changes nothing. The grave socio-economic conditions remain; the absurd power struggle at the heart of government, between the president and his minister of finance, endures. On another level, it changes everything. ANC hegemony has been penetrated. How the ruling party will react is just one of several key questions that this book examines. As such, it is very different from my two previous books on South African politics, Anatomy of South Africa (2006) and The Zuma Years (2013), which were compasses, not maps. This book, Make or Break: How the Next Three Years will Shape South Africa's Next Three Decades, looks ahead, and seeks to forecast.

Contents: Make or Break. How the Next Three Years will Shape South Africa's Next Three Decades

Preface and acknowledgements
Abbreviations and acronyms
Introduction: Game on!
How Zumas grave 9/12 miscalculation reset South Africa's political trajectory
The last frontier
Can the judges hold the line?
David 3, Goliath 2
How the public protector became the people's champion
Appointing judges, Malema-style
The Constitutional Court and the importance of the JSC
Game changer
The 2016 local government elections
What next for the ANC?
When will Zuma go and who will succeed him?
A delicate time, in a dangerous year
Where to from here for Number One?
Risk on, risk of
Team Treasury and the pivotal role of Pravin Gordhan
Will the centre hold?
Reasons to be cheerful... and gravely concerned
Conclusion: Six questions and six answers
As well as two scenarios for the future and nine signposts along the road
Preface and acknowledgements