Africa

They say it’s not good to speak ill of the dead. But it’s also improper not to tell the truth about them.

SEATTLE Twenty-five years ago, South Africa held its first free elections after the end of apartheid. The African National Congress won overwhelmingly, and its leader, Nelson Mandela, began to knit the country back together as its new president.

As the dust settles following our sixth democratic elections, it is clear that the SA electorate has sent the country’s political parties a few solid messages.

The African National Congress (ANC) – like most liberation movements-turned political parties – has dominated South Africa’s politics since it came to power in 1994.

Unlike many other countries, South Africa does not have one recognised “official” poverty line. Instead, a number of different thresholds are used, and there’s little clarity on the appropriateness of each threshold.

Twenty-five years since South Africa’s first democratic election, the country reels in anxiety. Poverty levels sit at 27.7 percent overall and 45.5 percent in rural areas, while potential destitution hangs over another 76 percent of the population.

This is the first instalment of a three-part series around South Africa’s 8 May general elections.

Fact: South Africa has a major unemployment problem. Wherever you go you find people desperate to work, desperate to get the income and dignity only work can bring. And yet, despite the 2019 elections being less than two weeks away, it does not seem that this issue is really dominating.

The Gauteng provincial election is going to be close. Very close. Although there's no doubt that the ANC will be the largest party in Gauteng, the key question is just whether the party will reach 50%.

Pages