This personal reflection is a result of my experiences abroad in South Africa, particularly the areas of Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Bethulie. Prior to my trip overseas, I learned about the rainbow nation’s principles of unity, forgiveness, and friendship that South Africa values dearly. These notions of harmony were endearing to hear about, but they were quickly challenged as soon as I stepped foot on South African soil. Upon arriving in South Africa and having the chance to meet local people and see the relationships built between individuals there, it was hard to ignore the unrest still existing throughout the country. This unrest is due to the multitude of unresolved problems that continue to persist from apartheid. Seeing the disparity that runs throughout this beautiful country caused me to reconsider the actions that the South African government took in post-apartheid, leading me to think critically about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was created to move South Africa forward from its painful past. After numerous conversations with South Africans from diverse backgrounds, I began to see reparations as the optimal route for reconstruction in the country. This article seeks to explore why reparations offer a promising restorative alternative to the programs South Africa has already implemented, and how they may be used to move the country forward towards justice.



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