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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Foreign Policy by Sisonke Msimang.]

The African National Congress won again in South Africa, but a new generation identifies the party more with corruption than liberation and is seeking solutions through protests and lawsuits rather than at the ballot box.

Cyril Ramaphosa and the governing African National Congress (ANC) handily won South Africa’s national election on May 8, its sixth since the transition to democracy in 1994, securing 57 percent of the vote. Although the campaign was often divisive, in the end Nelson Mandela’s party managed to rally behind Ramaphosa, who faced stiff opposition from key figures within the ANC.

In many ways, the ANC was running against itself. The official opposition—the center-right Democratic Alliance—came in a distant second with 21 percent of the vote, slightly less than its 2014 total. The left-wing populist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which has garnered significant media attention inside and outside the country and has helped to redefine the policy terrain by introducing a more robust approach to politics, made a strong showing with almost 11 percent of the vote. The party’s representatives in Parliament typically dress in red, with the women in the distinctive headscarves and pinafores worn by domestic workers in homes across the country and the men in miner’s hard hats and overalls. On the streets, EFF supporters often sport red berets.

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South Africa at a Glance
57 700 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.5% y/y in May 2019 (CPI) & +6.4 y/y in May 2019 (PPI)
-3.2% q/q (1st quarter of 2019)
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