Steven Friedman

Steven Friedman

Steven Friedman is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg.

He is a political scientist who has specialized in the study of democracy. During the 1980s, he produced a series of studies of reform apartheid and its implications for a democratic future. He researched and wrote widely on the South African transition to democracy both before and after the elections of 1994 and has, over the past decade, largely written on the relationship between democracy on the one hand, social inequality and economic growth on the other. In particular, he has stressed the role of citizen voice in strengthening democracy and promoting equality.

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Will This Election Offer Real Choices to Most South Africans?

Picture: Abahlali baseMjondolo Steven Friedman - On one level, the question seems ridiculous. All elections offer choices and all of us are allowed to vote. So many parties are likely to appear on this year’s ballot paper that the Independent Electoral Commission might face a serious printing challenge. Isn’t the fact that we can all choose who will govern us from a wide array of parties one of the great achievements of the fight against apartheid? Yes and No. The vote is an essential tool for citizens who want a share in the...