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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

Declining democracy

[Source: Business Day Live by Jonny Steinberg.]

It is not often that a professor makes a prophecy that comes true. So let us give credit where credit is due. In 1996, Ugandan academic Mahmoud Mamdani issued a warning to South Africans, one that many of us thought too eccentric to take seriously. In his book, Citizens and Subjects, Mamdani argued that the most pernicious forms of power exercised under white minority rule did not require racial ideology and could thus survive apartheid. Yet we South Africans believed that defeating racism and destroying the legacy of apartheid were one and the same thing. And so the worst of apartheid might live on, and we would not see it for what it is, simply because it is no longer about black and white. Read more

[Source: Daily Maverick by Stephen Grootes.]

South Africa seems permanently inured to the stench of scandal and impunity that hangs over it, but there are moments when one hopes for some kind of magic wand that can take away the cause with just one wave. There were hopes in some quarters that the Constitutional Court’s verdict in a case about the funding of political parties could provide such a whiff of fairy dust. Unfortunately, it is not to be. And probably, and sadly, for exactly the right reasons.

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.5% y/y in June 2019 (CPI) & +5.8 y/y in June 2019 (PPI)
-3.2% q/q (1st quarter of 2019)
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