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What are the key issues for investors in South Africa’s 2024 election?

What are the key issues for investors in South Africa’s 2024 election?

South Africans vote in a national election on May 29 and, for the first time since the end of apartheid 30 years ago, polls suggest the ruling African National Congress party (ANC) is at risk of losing its parliamentary majority. Investors are paying close attention. WHY IS A MAJORITY IMPORTANT? If the ANC gets less than 50% support it would have to seek one or more coalition partners to govern Africa's most industrialised economy. The new parliament will choose South Africa's next president. The new government will set fiscal and economic policy for the coming five years, and investors want to see if the…
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South Africa’s Ramaphosa calls opposition flag-burning ad ‘treasonous’

South Africa’s Ramaphosa calls opposition flag-burning ad ‘treasonous’

SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa described as "treasonous" a campaign ad by an opposition party that depicts a burning national flag, as antagonism between political parties rose three weeks before an election. The campaign ad released on Monday by the Democratic Alliance uses the burning flag as a metaphor for what it says is the grave risk of the ruling African National Congress retaining power in a coalition with left-wing parties. "I think it is treasonous," Ramaphosa told reporters during a visit to Limpopo province. "It is the most despicable political act that anyone can embark upon," he said, accusing the DA…
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South Africa’s electricity crisis: what political parties say in their election manifestos about solving it

South Africa’s electricity crisis: what political parties say in their election manifestos about solving it

SOUTH Africa is in the middle of a deep electricity crisis. In 2023 the public, many of whom are voters, experienced the worst load-shedding to date, losing power for an average of five hours a day. The power shortages were largely due to excessive breakdowns in the country’s coal power plant fleet, which generates over 80% of South Africa’s electricity, combined with delays in developing new generation capacity. The power crisis is a key election topic with national elections scheduled for 29 May. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) is tipped to lose its absolute majority in parliament. One reason…
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South Africa’s main opposition party not ruling out deal with ANC

South Africa’s main opposition party not ruling out deal with ANC

SOUTH Africa's second most popular party the Democratic Alliance (DA) would not rule out a deal with the ruling African National Congress should the ANC fail to get the majority it needs to retain power in May elections, its leader said. Pollsters expect the ANC to lose its legislative majority on May 29 for the first time since Nelson Mandela took power at the end of apartheid 30 years ago, with voters unhappy with poor service delivery, joblessness, crime and power cuts. If that happens, President Cyril Ramaphosa or a successor for the top job would be unable to stay on without…
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South Africa’s main opposition leader Steenhuisen wins another term

South Africa’s main opposition leader Steenhuisen wins another term

SOUTH Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, re-elected John Steenhuisen as its leader, putting him in a prime position as it campaigns to unseat the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in next year's national elections. The forty-seven-year-old, who received 83% of the vote at the Democratic Alliance's national congress in Johannesburg, was running against the former mayor of Johannesburg, Mpho Phalatse, who would have been only the second Black leader in the party's history. Steenhuisen will serve a three-year term as leader of the Democratic Alliance, which has historically appealed to a largely white demographic. “During the remaining months…
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Non-racial South Africa: book shows debate on nation building is still relevant today

Non-racial South Africa: book shows debate on nation building is still relevant today

THERE has been much comment recently on the lack of representation of minorities in the leadership structures of South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress (ANC). For Douglas Gibson, a former leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), the exclusively black composition of the ANC’s top leadership shows that the ANC is no longer committed to building one nation. He believes the ANC is clearly not a home for all. Look at its MPs, ministers, MECs, councillors, and mayors … The leadership has place only for black South Africans. For Gibson, the baton has been passed on to the…
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The horse has bolted – SA’s highest court judges tell Zuma

The horse has bolted – SA’s highest court judges tell Zuma

IN rejecting his application for the decision to jail him for 15 months to be rescinded, judges in the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s highest court, have had some tough words for former president Jacob Zuma. The judges of the Constitutional Court, in a majority judgment, found that there were no grounds for the court to overturn its own judgment and said it would not be in the interest of justice to do so.  Zuma, who has served two of his 15 months sentence, has been granted medical parole and will serve the rest of his sentence outside prison. The decision…
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South African opposition party goes to court to seek vaccine clarity

South African opposition party goes to court to seek vaccine clarity

SOUTH Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) is going to court to force President Cyril Ramaphosa's government to release details of its COVID-19 vaccination plans. The government has been accused by health experts, scientists and political rivals of tardiness in procuring vaccines against the new coronavirus - charges it rejects. South Africa has suffered a surge in infections driven by a new, more contagious variant of the virus called 501Y.V2, which drove daily new cases to 21,000 in early January, although they have now eased to below 10,000. "Ramaphosa wants a get-out-of-jail-free card by blaming the West for having ordered in…
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Why South African opposition’s policy on racial inequality is out of sync with reality

Why South African opposition’s policy on racial inequality is out of sync with reality

STEVEN FRIEDMAN, Professor of Political Studies, University of Johannesburg CLAIMING, as South Africa’s official opposition the Democratic Alliance (DA) does, that policy must ignore race in South Africa, is like insisting that economic inequality should have been ignored in nineteenth-century Europe. The party resolved at a recent policy conference to oppose policy that uses race and gender as a criterion. This aims to set it apart from the governing African National Congress, which endorses affirmative action as a means of addressing the inequities created by centuries of minority white rule. Although this decision must still be ratified by the federal…
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