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Abstention in the 2021 local government election was largely driven by a combination of individual and administrative barriers. Guillem Sartorio/AFP via Getty Images

Here are five factors that drove low voter turnout in South Africa’s 2021 elections

The South African electorate is becoming less tied to race and identity-based voting but are increasingly making a wider evaluation of the performance of political incumbents.
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa (L) is congratulated by leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party Mangosuthu Buthelezi (R) after being elected president of South Africa during the swearing in of new members of the National Assembly. Nic Bothma

Post-election pact failure: echoes of fraught history between South Africa’s ANC and Inkatha

The failure of the 2021 post-election deal is a missed opportunity for the African National Congress and Inkatha to work together.
Former Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip, from the DA, third from left, and his deputy Mongameli Bobani, from the UDM, extreme right, help clean up a street in 2017. by Werner Hills/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Marriages of inconvenience: the fraught politics of coalitions in South Africa

South Africa’s political parties would do well to learn from Ireland, where the three largest political parties negotiated a coalition treaty that stipulated mechanisms for conflict resolution.
Oukasie residents protest over poor service delivery in 2010. Jaco Marais/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Book review: lessons from a township that resisted apartheid

A readable and important new book on the struggle for justice in South Africa’s Oukasie township does not go far enough to question the feasibility of grassroots resistance.

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