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South Africa’s new agricultural leadership should focus on getting things done, not designing new policies

South Africa’s new agricultural leadership should focus on getting things done, not designing new policies

SOUTH Africa’s primary agriculture sector accounts for nearly 3% of GDP and about 8% when considering the value of agro-processing. But it can contribute even more to economic growth that delivers benefits fairly across society and creates jobs. This can’t happen, however, if new policies and plans keep getting introduced. Fortunately, the views of the new agricultural minister, John Steenhuisen, may not be far from the existing policy path. Steenhuisen is the leader of the Democratic Alliance, the second biggest party in parliament, which has joined a unity government with the African National Congress after the latter failed to win…
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New South African government inspires hope and fear

New South African government inspires hope and fear

SOUTH Africa's new unity government inspired cautious optimism from industry and financial markets but many citizens and political analysts fear the coalition will struggle to deliver economic growth and social change. President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed former main opposition leader John Steenhuisen to head an important ministry on Sunday, bringing the Democratic Alliance and other parties into a coalition cabinet for the first time in three decades. The ruling African National Congress was forced to join rival parties to stay in power after losing its majority in a May 29 poll, getting just 40% of the vote, the first time it has received under half of the votes in…
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South African rand gains after Ramaphosa announces new cabinet

South African rand gains after Ramaphosa announces new cabinet

SOUTH Africa's rand strengthened in early trade after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new coalition cabinet, appointing the leader of the former opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) as agriculture minister. At 0737 GMT, the rand traded at 18.0150 against the dollar, 1% stronger than its previous close. After weeks of intense deliberations, Ramaphosa named DA leader John Steenhuisen as part of his cabinet line-up on Sunday, bringing the party and other coalition members into his new government team. "There will be a palpable sense of relief that Mr Ramaphosa has finally named his executive following protracted and often terse negotiations with his new…
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South African rand gains as ANC and DA clinch unity government deal

South African rand gains as ANC and DA clinch unity government deal

SOUTH Africa's rand gained after the Democratic Alliance said a deal had been struck with the African National Congress to form a unity government. The DA reached an agreement with the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) after two weeks of negotiations following last month's election, DA leader John Steenhuisen said. "The rand is loving it!" said Danny Greeff, co-head of Africa at ETM Analytics. Analysts said markets also welcomed the exclusion of the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters and former President Jacob Zuma-backed populist uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) parties. "News of this coalition will temper concerns that South Africa would embark…
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South Africa’s potential kingmakers struggle with white image

South Africa’s potential kingmakers struggle with white image

LOOKNG out of his window at Cape Town's False Bay, Nick Searra acknowledges that things do work better in South Africa's second biggest city, a stronghold of the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA). But that doesn't mean he is ready to see the party or its 48-year-old leader John Steenhuisen running the rest of the country. "Imagine an old white man as the president of South Africa," said Searra, a 44-year-old white Johannesburg native who moved to Cape Town in 2022. In a seismic shift, voters this week dismantled the majority that the African National Congress (ANC) has held since the end of white minority…
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South African opposition leader warns of ‘doomsday’ ANC coalition with EFF/MK

South African opposition leader warns of ‘doomsday’ ANC coalition with EFF/MK

THE leader of South Africa's biggest opposition party urged voters to back his party in Wednesday's election to avoid a "doomsday" scenario of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) forming a coalition with radical parties. Political parties are holding rallies on the final weekend before the national and provincial elections on May 29, in which polls expect the ANC to lose its parliamentary majority for the first time since liberation icon Nelson Mandela was voted into power in 1994 at the end of apartheid. Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen said the election will go down in history as the most consequential day since the dawn of democracy in…
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Who will lead South Africa after the May 29 election?

Who will lead South Africa after the May 29 election?

SOUTH Africa's May 29 election looks set to be the most tightly contested since the end of apartheid, with opinion polls suggesting that the governing African National Congress may lose its majority for the first time after 30 years in power. The ANC is still expected to win the largest share of the vote, so its leader President Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to remain in office unless he faces an internal challenge if the party is perceived to have performed badly. If it falls short of a majority, it will have to negotiate a coalition or some other form of deal with other parties.…
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South Africa election: Who are ANC and other rival parties vying for power?

South Africa election: Who are ANC and other rival parties vying for power?

SOUTH Africa's election on May 29 could bring momentous change, with polls suggesting the ruling African National Congress is likely to lose its majority after 30 years in power. The following are key facts about the ANC and rival parties, including smaller ones that could play a pivotal role in forming a coalition government, should the opportunity arise. AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS The ANC enjoys rock-solid loyalty from many Black South Africans, especially older voters, due to its heroic past as a liberation movement that helped end apartheid and usher in multi-racial democracy under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. It has won a majority…
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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 Ramaphosa touts ANC history in State of Nation address

South Africa’s Ramaphosa touts ANC history in State of Nation address

SOUTH Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa used a major speech in parliament to play up his party's achievements over the last 30 years but gave little detail about his plans to address the country's current major challenges. Ramaphosa's African National Congress (ANC) party, which has governed since Nelson Mandela led it to victory in the first post-apartheid democratic election in 1994, is heading into its most competitive campaign yet. Many polls indicate it will lose its absolute parliamentary majority in a vote expected to be held between May and August, forcing it to choose a coalition party to hold onto power.…
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