“Transformation” is a word uttered more frequently in SA than anywhere else in the world. This is as it should be: ours was a society with greater visible need for change than most. From the mid-1990s, transformation became the buzzword, a definition, a justification, an explanation, an excuse for the political accommodation out of which post-apartheid SA emerged. By its very nature, it describes a process rather than a revolution, an act of becoming rather than a state of existence.

Some changes were easy enough to implement; legislation could deal with the discriminatory statutes. But culture, social mores and world views are not as easily moulded. Nor is it really possible to make up for time elapsed, the lived lives lost...

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