Comparative Analysis of Economic and Political Cleavages in South Africa and Zimbabwe

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Comparative Analysis of Economic and Political Cleavages in South Africa and Zimbabwe Introduction Comparative politics is concerned with examining the characteristics or qualities of two different political entities to discover resemblances or differences. These entities can be general in nature, for example, the comparison of two countries, or more specific in nature, comparing two different systems of government. But, whether general or specific in nature, comparative politics tries to determine what caused the governments to form in the way that they did. One way to do this is to look for the cleavages that affected each of the countries in question. A cleavage is a split that occurs within a culture and can cause conflict…show more content…
This brief discussion will cover such areas as land reform and the impact of political decision-making on landowners and non-landowners in a historically agrarian and ranked society and on race, substandard housing, unemployment, and unequal allocation of funding for public health. Land Reform Historically, land reform programs in South Africa and Zimbabwe has been similar in some respects. It is necessary to briefly review the history of each country in respect to this cleavage to better understand current discontinuities and to note the clear differences in contemporary land reform that are being implemented in the two countries. Both South Africa and Zimbabwe were British colonies. All the land in these colonies was owned by white Europeans and farmed by poor black Africans. In 1980, Rhodesia broke from the bondage of white rule and elected its first black president, Robert Mugabe, who came with promises of restoration of the land to native Africans, and of better health care and educational opportunities. The now independent Rhodesia was renamed Zimbabwe in 1980. But during the 1980's, drought and white emigration badly damaged the economy, which already strained by the need for massive government spending in the long-neglected areas of black education, health, and social services. The cleavages over land distribution, which continue today, present an ongoing challenge to the government and an obstacle to agricultural development and will be

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