Bikers protest against the tobacco ban at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa.
The government was initially praised for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic but powerful interests could now be pushing its containment plans off course
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has emphasised inclusive decision-making informed by scientific evidence. Such an approach would serve to depoliticise and rationalise decision-making.
The ban on the sale of alcohol has been partially lifted, but tobacco remains prohibited.
Roger Sedres/Gallo Images via Getty Images
South Africa’s lockdown rules started with high legitimacy. But it has been eroded and has now dissolved.
South African soldiers enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town.
South Africa's post-apartheid leaders have failed to properly prepare the military for secondary roles such as peacekeeping, let alone to a fight a virus.
Abuses by police and the army point to the need for citizens to be involved in security and other crisis response measures
Ramaphosa's call for a new social compact will fall on deaf ears unless there are some fundamental changes to the way in which the pandemic is being managed.
Tom Thabane, prime minister of Lesotho, during a recent visit to Ethiopia.
Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Power is visibly draining away from Tom Thabane. But, even at 80 years old, he remains a wily operator, and seems determined to cause maximum trouble to secure his immunity from prosecution.
An illegal Zimbawean immigrant crosses into South Africa.
Borders in southern Africa -- as on the entire continent -- were arbitrarily imposed by former colonial powers, and aren't respected.
An unemployed man in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, collects trash for resale before South Africa went into a Covid-19 lockdown.
The clock is ticking: in the absence of government support, not being able to work means waste reclaimers don't have money to buy food.
Millions of poor South Africans rely on social grants, including the child support grant, just to survive.
PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images
To support precarious households that can't access existing relief during lockdown and its aftermath, the government should implement a temporary increase in the value of the child support grant.
South African President Cyril Rampahosa, centre, ordered a 21-day lockdown.
The notion that there is a binary choice between the economy and the medically optimal strategy is wrong.
Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, taking part at a video conference in extraordinary virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit at the Chigi Palace in Rome.
EPA/A handout photo from the Chigi Palace Press Office
Already, we have seen a range of responses globally - from countries that apparently reacted too late, to those who acted relatively early.
A taxi rank marshal sprays hand sanitiser on a commuter wearing a mask as a preventive measure as she arrives at the Wanderers taxi rank in Johannesburg.
Marco Longari/AFP via Getty Images
Reactions in South Africa give little reason for hope that the virus will bring people closer together or trigger more energetic action against poverty.
Johannesburg Metropolitan Police raid a building highjacked by a criminal syndicate.
President Ramaphosa's emphasis on fighting crime is well placed. Most categories of violent crimes have risen dramatically over the past eight years.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his state of the nation address.
President Ramaphosa's state of the nation speech showed his preference for less contentious matters that attract praise, rather than catalytic decisions.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has to inspire confidence amid growing scepticism.
The challenge to deliver a persuasive speech comes firstly in the context of intense doubts as to whether President Ramaphosa is truly in charge of the ANC.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts to fix South Africa are being undermined from within his own party, the ANC.
Ramaphosa’s detractors are unlikely to succeed in their rumoured bid. And, their failure will not be because they’ve suddenly become weak within the administration.
Most proposed solutions don’t address the systemic problems facing Eskom, in particular its parlous finances.
The deluge of opinions and proposed solutions to South Africa's energy crisis reflects corporate and political interests.
South African police minister Bheki Cele (left) claims success in the investigation of political killings in KwaZulu-Natal. With him is the head of the police, Khehla Sithole.
The task team established to investigate political killings in KwaZulu-Natal has had little impact on exposing those behind the violence.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech failed to inspire confidence.
The year ahead promises to be a very difficult but also a very decisive year for South Africa. Is President Ramaphosa equal to the challenge?
Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa and the governing African National Congress.
The most that may be hoped for from the party's annual statement is evidence of a president who is confident, clear and courageous.