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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Bloomberg by Michael Cohen.]

Factions in South Africa’s ruling African National Congress are seizing the policy initiative and undermining President Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts to revive the nation’s flagging economy, according to Robert Schrire, a political science professor at the University of Cape Town.

Since Ramaphosa replaced Jacob Zuma as president a year ago, after winning the party leadership vote by the narrowest of margins, his opponents have retained some top ANC and state posts and advocated policies such as land seizures that have harmed investor confidence.

“For the first time since 1994, South Africa is ruled directly by factions within the ANC who are strong on populist fervor but weak on sophistication, expertise and capacity,” Schrire said in an emailed report. “The technocrats and administrators with their institutional memories and expertise have been marginalized. Ramaphosa, because of his weak political base, has not had the power to become the dominant force in both party and government.”

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South Africa at a Glance
57 700 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.0% y/y in January 2019 (CPI) & +4.1 y/y in January 2019 (PPI)
1.4% q/q (4th quarter of 2018)
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