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President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former anti-apartheid activist Sophie de Bruyn at the unveiling of a monument to the 1956 women’s march. GCIS

Local elections show that South Africa’s women continue to play second fiddle

South Africa's past tells us that, under certain conditions, women mobilise in ways that produce significant political results. But the country's present shows how easily these gains can evaporate.
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.
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 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.
Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), greets supporters at the launch of the party’s local election manifesto in Soweto. EPA/Cornell Tukiri

Why Julius Malema’s EFF doesn’t offer South Africans a way out of poverty

Understandable anger about the excessive inequality in South Africa lies at the heart of the rise of the radical Economic Freedom Fighters. The problem is how the party wants to address these issues.
South African President Jacob Zuma, flanked by ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe (left) and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

South Africa’s politicians will have to adjust to many more coalitions

A key question ahead of local government elections in South Africa is whether the African National Congress will retain control of seven of the country's eight metropolitan municipalities.
President Jacob Zuma surprised South Africans by offering to pay back public money spent on his private home. Reuters/Nic Bothma

Zuma’s about-turn suggests South Africa faces another unhinged political year

Jacob Zuma has backtracked on two major decisions in under two months – first after he fired his finance minister; now he says he’ll pay back public money spent on his lavish Nkandla homestead.
Supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters protesting outside the Johannesburg stock exchange. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa is in danger of becoming a radicalised society – again

Since the 1940s, it's been common for political moderates to move to the fore in South Africa – then, intermittently, to the background. They are replaced by radicals or exclusivist nationalists.
Supporters of the Congress of South African Trade Unions march in the streets of Johannesburg. Economic freedom has eluded the majority of South Africans. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

South Africa: why economic freedom is proving to be the ANC’s undoing

Economic transformation of unequal societies in a democratising context is difficult. This requires a creative mix of policy options underpinned by a commitment to social justice.

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