Former SRC Member Graduates with PhD in Political Science
Former UKZN SRC member Dr Siphetfo Dlamini, who now works in the Office of the KwaZulu-Natal Premier, graduated with a PhD in Political Science.
Dlamini’s thesis examined the application and relevance of consociationalism (cooperation/ consensus) both as a system of governance and as a conflict resolution mechanism in bringing about development in South Africa.
His studies were not without setbacks! During his research, both his laptop and back up USB containing much of his work were stolen. The laptop was later recovered with everything deleted and new software installed.
‘Miraculously a colleague was able to recover deleted information; content was disorganised but fortunately it was all there. That was a stressful and arduous experience,’ said Dlamini.
His research critiques the premise that liberal democracy is the antidote for development. Showing that the elements integral to liberal democracy contradict core African values, it exposes the counterintuitive ambitions of this system of governance in an African context.
Dlamini’s research suggests that, instead of overextending liberal democracy as a prerequisite of all forms of development everywhere, Africa needs a system of government that does not only resonate with core values (accommodation and collectivism) but also aligns with the ethno-linguistic complexes of most African countries.
He hopes that his research will provide constructive input in areas such as co-operation, integration, social cohesion, and intergovernmental relations while assisting government in understanding the major segments of our plural society and thus being able to provide a strategic intervention in curbing social ills such as racism, xenophobia, crime and drugs.
During the course of his PhD, Dlamini was nominated to undertake diplomatic training with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation under the Diplomatic Training, Research and Development unit co-ordinated by Mr Francois Hentschel. He was the only candidate from South Africa to be considered for this intense training which he successfully completed.
‘I’m honoured to have represented KwaZulu-Natal and grateful to the office of the Premier and my supervisor who was patient and encouraging during these challenging times.’
He is also grateful for the support from family, colleagues and friends. ‘Through financial and spiritual support my family and friends gave me hope and strength to obtain this degree.
‘I’m grateful to be currently serving in the Office of the Premier, it’s such a professional working environment with great management and staff.’