Royalty is in the air at the moment, from the wedding to Black Panther. But most fans would never give up their votes to live in a monarchy or willingly pay to maintain hereditary rulers in the name of national pride. The land debates have brought these questions home to SA. Apartheid shaped the former "homelands" to be impoverished, underserved and governed by unelected leaders. We often overlook the extent to which the 1994 compromise involved concessions not only to white business and politicians but also to rulers in these regions. Even today there is no coherent strategy to tackle the extreme poverty and lagging government services in the former homelands. Nor is there a consistent approach to the mismatch between the commitment to national citizenship and democracy, on the one hand, and inherited authority on the other. People are simply voting with their feet. From 1994 to 2016 the share of the population living in the former homelands fell from about half to a third. About 1...

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