Justice Malala’s book, We have now begun our descent: How to Stop South Africa losing its way, does a number of things well. It reclaims the space for a particular kind of conversation among successful but ordinary South Africans – those who are not radical or particularly steeped in the eloquent and sometimes exclusionary new language of radical opposition to structural inequality.
While the book covers some well-trodden ground, Malala writes in an accessible style and with a common-sense decency and rationalism that many people will find compelling.
Malala puts forward the thesis that South Africa faces a crisis of governance and leadership rather than an economic crisis. He argues that addressing the leadership crisis is not something that the African National Congress is responsible for alone: South Africans have a role to play and yet they have simply not done enough to challenge the status quo.