This week's general elections in SA were the most contested and probably the most difficult to call ever. Coming 25 years after the 1994 elections that ushered in the transition from apartheid to democracy, the election may well be the one that graduates us from an incipient democracy to an established one. As democracy rolled out across Africa over the past six decades, its most obvious characteristic was the clear transition from oppressive colonial rule to liberated democratic societies, albeit with contrasting outcomes. The true essence of a second transition has remained elusive to define. Incipient democracies have the duty of creating socio-political systems that cater to the diverse and often competing needs of a society previously denied equal access to opportunities. Underpinning their success is establishing institutions to support the democratic project. As democracy's intersections with capitalism are unavoidable, such states need to actively intervene in enabling their...

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