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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Adam Habib.]

Too many within our society, including within the ANC and perhaps even Cyril Ramaphosa, believe that the EFF cannot be proto-fascist because it comprises young black people and their intemperateness is really a matter of age. But this is a dangerous illusion. 

South Africa is in a very different space to where it was a few months ago. Jacob Zuma’s departure has created some hope, especially within the ANC. No longer is the ruling party subjected to scandal after scandal, and no longer is it seen as the willing proxy of a corrupt family. Ramaphosa has also been strategic in the way he has enabled both the departure of Zuma and restructured the leadership. In the former, he carried all of the ANC structures with him until even those in the Zuma camp had begun to tire of the political antics of the former President. Only then did Ramaphosa tighten the noose and call for the motion of no confidence. Similarly, his restructuring of the cabinet did enough to send a signal that change is afoot, but had enough continuity to make all of the party factions feel that they had a future. 27

Of course there are many who are not happy at the speed and the extent of change. But they do not have to ponder the balance required between keeping the party coherent enough to win the 2019 election and portraying sufficient change to inspire a renewed confidence in the political party. Ramaphosa after all is playing the long game which allows him to deal with some of the more immediate challenges now, while deferring others for a later date. He is also in a position to manage some of his internal party opposition through political means – Cabinet appointments, redeployments – while leaving others to be dealt with through the long arm of the law.

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South Africa at a Glance
57 700 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
5.1% y/y in July 2018 (CPI) & +6.1 y/y in July 2018 (PPI)
-0.7% q/q (2nd quarter of 2018)
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