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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: The Conversation by Keith Gottschalk.]

South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, elected a new chairperson of its federal council this past weekend. Its choice – Helen Zille, former leader of the party, and former Premier of the Western Cape province – has sent shock waves through the party.

The immediate fallout from her reelection to the top DA post was the resignation of Herman Mashaba, the DA mayor of South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg. He decried Zille’s win as signalling a takeover of the party by rightwing elements.

Mashaba’s resignation is puzzling. A self-made businessman as well as a former chairman of a rightwing think tank, the Free Market Foundation, his criticism of Zille seems misplaced. His views on economic issues are on the right of the political spectrum. And Mashaba sounds even more conservative than Zille on the issue of undocumented immigrants.

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2019 estimate)
3.6% y/y in November 2019 (CPI) & +2.3 y/y in November 2019 (PPI)
-0.6% q/q (3rd quarter of 2019)
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