Raymond Suttner, writing in his published doctoral thesis, Rendering Visible: The Underground Organisational Experience of the ANC-led Alliance until 1976 (2008), acknowledges that The Road to Democracy in South Africa multi-volume series draws on the expertise of independent scholars and is ‘based on extensive archival as well as oral [history testimonies], ranging very widely and covering a lot of interviewees and much documentation on struggles throughout the country’.
Two enduring challenges linked to the production of knowledge in South African historiography are challenged by committed scholars, researchers and public intellectuals. The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 4, Part 3 addresses the previously neglected and undermined voices of black scholars, researchers and public intellectuals. The publication also ensures that oppressed voices of the majority of our population are at the centre of the historic narrative.
Comprising of eleven chapters, Volume 4 Part 3 tackles the debate on whether the real locality of the struggle for liberation in South Africa was urban or rural and comes to the conclusion that it was indeed a national struggle and that it permeated all parts of the country. Included in the volume are chapters by Marepo Lesetja who analyses the often neglected struggle for liberation in what was then the Far Northern Transvaal (now Limpopo Province); Tshepo Moloi examines the re-establishment of the ANC and PAC in selected townships located in the PWV area—the urbanised socio-economic hub of the country; Lungisile Ntsebeza assesses the political economy of the land question in South Africa’s urban areas up to 1994, with a focus on the Cape Peninsula; Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu embraces the cultural, emotional and human aspects of the liberation struggle by exploring why and how it was that Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela became the ‘public face’ of the liberation struggle. He also explains why culture can be perceived as the fifth (i.e. additional) pillar of the liberation snuggle for national liberation. Luvuyo Wotshela discusses the fate of the Ciskei Bantustan and adjacent border towns and their political transition towards a democratising South Africa from 1985 onwards.