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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Business Day by Ismail Lagardien.]

It is easy to assume that the recent wave of populism in SA is part of a global historical shift towards extremes of politics on the left and right. The evidence for this global surge is embodied in the rise of Donald Trump (US), Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil), Viktor Orbán (Hungary), Matteo Salvini (Italy), Narendra Modi (India), and Nicholas Maduro (Venezuela).

There are, nonetheless, specific local issues that one can pull at to unravel the tangled mess of current populist political economics in SA. It is only the most ossified of ideologues who would imagine there is a clearly detectable and tidily confined aetiology, and that there is a single solution to this (single) problem.

Anyway, one dimension of current populism ropes in academics, social activists, political formations and some legal minds — and is a type of nostalgia. This nostalgia may be described as a missed opportunity of African decolonisation as a singular act.

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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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