Articles on South African politics

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Supporters of South Africa’s governing ANC during President Jacob Zuma’s election campaign in Pretoria. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Sharp-tongued South African voters give ruling ANC a stiff rebuke

For more than 20 years the ANC's electoral support has appeared unyielding to the obvious weaknesses of its performance in government. To fall below 60% is psychologically significant for the party.
Supporters of South Africa’s governing ANC with a mock coffin of the opposition EFF at the ANC’s Siyanqoba rally ahead of local elections. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Electoral tremors are shaking South Africa’s ANC. How will it respond?

The ANC has faced an inexorable, gradual decline in support since 2004. There is no evidence that it has been able to reverse this trend.
Voters wait their turn outside a polling station at Nkonjeni village in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The country is gearing up for local elections. Reuters/Radu Sigheti

Opposition aims for upset in South Africa’s high-stakes election

The opposition Democratic Alliance is hopeful that the African National Congress will fail to win a majority in three metros. This will open the door for it to rule in coalition with smaller parties.
Supporters of South Africa’s governing ANC during campaigning for upcoming local election. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Cracks in South Africa’s governing alliance could cost the ANC dearly

The Tripartite Alliance in South Africa has previously provided the governing African National Congress with diverse support, securing it victory at the polls. It is now riven with dissension.
Supporters of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters hold a mock coffin of the governing ANC during an election rally in 2014. Reuters/Skyler Reid

South Africa’s politicians must guard against killer narratives

Unscrupulous politicians are adept at using regressive story lines that feed insecurities. That could be dangerous ahead of South Africa's hotly-contested municipal elections.
Nelson Mandela laughs with journalists and performers ahead of the second 46664 concert in the Western Cape in 2005. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Reflections on building the South Africa of Nelson Mandela’s dreams

When celebrating Nelson Mandela Day, it would benefit South Africans to reflect on what the statesman's legacy means for the nation and how they are living up to his dreams for the country.
Tshwane Executive Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, surrounded by school pupils and officials, samples the metropole’s free internet service. Pretoria News/Masi Losi

South Africa’s vote against internet freedom tarnishes its global image

That South Africa has voted against rights enshrined in its globally celebrated, progressive constitution suggests a troubling indifference to its human rights commitments.
Former members of the ANC’s armed wing perform the toyi-toyi dance in support of then ailing former President Nelson Mandela. Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

South Africa’s armed struggle: where the ANC’s ineptitude was a virtue

Armed struggle played a subsidiary role in the ANC’s fight against apartheid in South Africa. The tactics that were most decisive in securing freedom were those that didn’t involve organised violence.
Rioters threw stones and looted shops during a recent protest at the Phomolong informal settlement outside Pretoria. Reuters/Striger

The link between public violence and xenophobia in South Africa

The past decade has shown a strong connection between political protests and the looting of foreign-owned shops in South Africa. Research shows that local leaders use protests to maintain their power.
Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa unsuccessfully pleads for calm with angry ANC supporters. EPA/Ihsaan Haffejee

Violence in South Africa’s capital leaves ANC vulnerable at the polls

Some of the factors behind the riots by ANC supporters in Tshwane are not new. They include gripes within the governing party about its process for choosing mayors and divisions over Jacob Zuma.
Supporters angered by the ANC’s choice of a mayoral candidate went on the rampage in Tshwane, South Africa, . Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Political violence in South Africa points to rising tensions in the ANC

The increase in rioting ahead of municipal elections in South Africa, such as that in Pretoria, suggests that the country's general election in 2019 could be more violent than previous elections.
Residents of Zandspruit, a shanty town north-west of Johannesburg, during a violent protest against the removal of illegal electricity connections. EPAKevin Sutherland

What rising protests in South Africa say about attitudes towards local government

The brouhaha over South Africa's upcoming high-stakes municipal elections hides critically important questions about the continued relevance of local government amid growing public disaffection.
South African President Jacob Zuma inflated the size of his cabinet, making it among the largest in the world. GCIS

Why South Africa would do well to fire all its deputy ministers

Although not a panacea, cutting down the number of deputy ministers would go a long way to helping government get its finances onto a more stable footing.
A protester smokes marijuana during a march calling for the legalisation of cannabis in Cape Town. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Below the radar, South Africa is limiting the right to protest

Despite protests in South Africa being largely peaceful, municipalities are placing unreasonable restrictions on the right to protest, which sometimes amounts to a veto of that right.

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