Academy Tour comes to an end

This year's Robert Bosch Academy study tour dealt with the theme of social cohesion.

The rise of Alternative for Germany (AfD) right wing party in Germany is causing considerable consternation among the establishment, concerned that it signals a return to the fascist tendencies that Germany thought it had overcome after the second world war.  The party has risen particularly in former East German states, and this is where the tour spent much of its time, talking to politicians, business people, artists and civil society representatives to understand this phenomenon.  It would appear that after three decades since the fall of the Berlin wall, there is still much resentment among former East Germans who believe that they are being treated unfairly, with wages higher in West Germany, few visible East German leaders in the corporate and political sectors, and professionals from East Germany having to be re- or upskilled before being accepted into the relevant economic sector.  If this is the case in a fairly homogenous society, how much more troubled are we in South Africa dealing with similar issues on a vaster scale?