Articles on Patronage

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Workers at Medupi coal-fired power station during its construction, one of South Africa’s most costly and environmentally unfriendly projects. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Steering South Africa’s budget between excess patronage and prudence

In preparing the 2017 national budget South Africa needs to take heed of warnings that its historical austerity measures are hurting the poor and even costing lives.
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma is part of a faction which embraces patronage politics. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Economic exclusion feeds the politics of patronage in South Africa

It is common to reduce the politics of the ANC to a battle between personalities. A closer look suggest that this is a fight between two factions, both of them products of trends in the economy.
South Africans are increasingly taking to the streets to demand accountability from government. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

South Africa: finely balanced between autocracy and democracy

South Africa has never reached an embedded democratic state. Its post-apartheid experience more realistically reflects ongoing oscillation between a deepening and a reversal of democratic liberties.

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