Latest Political landscape in South Africa
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The imperfect efforts to deal with South Africa’s past has led to political tensions, especially in the midst of a worsening economy and increasing social unrest. The persistent inequality, the ongoing debate over Black Economic Empowerment, and the various other forms of redress, are subjects of constant contention in public discourse. This has not been helped by the increasing unhappiness with the lack of service delivery, mismanagement of state agencies and institutions, and high crime rates.
The Native Land Act
Land reform, which sought to address the unjust Native Land Act that dispossessed black South Africans of their ancestral land, is another area of tension. Expropriation without compensation has been adopted as policy by the ruling ANC. However, how and when to use such a tool is still a matter of debate and depends on which faction of the ruling party is in the ascent.
A history of corruption
The torrent of corruption allegations against leading state and ruling party figures in recent years has only exacerbated political and social tensions. The devastating impact of COVID-19, and new evidence of corruption in the government of South Africa’s response to the pandemic, has only added fuel to the flames. All of this has placed greater urgency on the program of reform that President Ramaphosa, and his supporters in the ANC, have embarked on following the recall of Jacob Zuma.
Civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have repeatedly stood in the gap between the South African government’s lack of capacity and the needs of ordinary South Africans:
- Save South Africa organized the kind of mass action to force Zuma out of office that had not been seen since the apartheid era.
- The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) has repeatedly, and successfully, petitioned the highest court to hold those in power accountable and to safeguard democratic rights.
- Gift of the Givers foundation, meanwhile, has organized and delivered aid in a variety of emergencies, both locally and internationally. It is the largest disaster response NGO of African origin on the continent.
- Brand South Africa – useful resource for expats and potential investors
- Gov.za – South African government website, with information on departments, services and so on
- Statistics South Africa – provides a wealth of data on South Africa, including the population and GDP
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