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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Judith February.]

If there is hope for our future, it is in continuing to seek the truth where falsehood abounds – and to speak that truth to power.

That challenge remains for all of us, not least in South Africa. Obama was reminding us that democracy and its work is a marathon and not a sprint.

The year 2017 may well have been the ‘year of the journalist’ in South Africa. The media deserves a hat-tip for its pivotal role in uncovering the corruption eating away at the heart of the South African state and which has at its core President Jacob Zuma and his corrupt cronies. From #Guptaleaks to Jacques Pauw’s chilling account of state capture in The President’s Keepers, journalists have been truth-seeking. All we need to know about the ‘shadow state’ has been laid bare. The salient question thus remains whether Cyril Ramaphosa is able to unify this divided party and convince some of his rogue colleagues in the NEC that South Africa cannot afford another day of Zuma’s destructive governance.

In Zuma’s administration falsehood abounds. The year started with the release of the Matric results, as usual, to great fanfare. So obsessed is the state with numbers that an increase in the overall rate is trumpeted as proof that we are educating for the future. This is far from the truth. South African pupils have done abysmally in global rankings for the Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMMS), and even more distressing is that our Grade 4 pupils are unable to ‘read for meaning’. South Africa scored the lowest of 50 countries in the Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study (PIRLS). For any other government committed to the wellbeing of its citizens and economic growth, this would have been a crisis. For the Zuma government it was business as usual.

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South Africa at a Glance
57 700 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.9% y/y in August 2018 (CPI) & +6.3 y/y in August 2018 (PPI)
-0.7% q/q (2nd quarter of 2018)
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