The South African security predicament: making sense of the objective realities

  • Abel Esterhuyse Faculty of Military Science, University of Stellenbosch


This article reflects an effort to make sense of the objective realities of the SouthAfrican security predicament. The objective realities on the security agenda are rootedin the practical reality of experience and are open for public discussion, debate andspeculation. These realities are informed by the threats facing South Africans on adaily basis. Government provides security with subjective content to the extent thatpolitical power demarcates the threat agenda, prioritises the items on the threat agenda,and foots the security bill. Since the creation of the Union in 1910, South Africa hashad to find a balance between the security realities emanating from three key securitydomains – irrespective of the ruling entity: security threats from outside Africa, thosethreats facing the country from within Africa, and security threats from within theborders of South Africa. The article aims at a scholarly demarcation of some of the mostcritical, important, and key features of the South African security agenda using thesethree domains as a framework for discussion. On a secondary level, the discussion alsocritically reflects on the ability of the human security paradigm to address the SouthAfrican security predicament.
How to Cite
Esterhuyse, A. (2021). The South African security predicament: making sense of the objective realities. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 49(1), 1-22.