Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Johann Rossouw, "South Africa's last chance," Le Monde diplomatique, March 25, 2009.

On 22 April South Africa will hold its third parliamentary elections and will have a new president. It may be the country’s last chance to stop the erosion of democracy through parliamentary means

Every year in December and January — the summer holidays — South Africa practically comes to a standstill. The small but growing middle class head for the country’s glorious beaches; poorer people join the exodus from the cities to visit family in the rural areas.

This year, as people returned from holiday, they were greeted outside cities with a huge billboard filled with the massive smiling face of Jacob Zuma. Zuma is a man who tells different factions what they want to hear, but whose real positions are still unclear; he is also likely to be South Africa’s next president.

  While SA has been able to achieve consistent growth in GDP of 3% or higher for most years since 1994 (largely due to high commodity prices up to 2008), the country fell in the UN Human Development Index from position 89 in 1998 to position 125 in 2008.

Read the rest here =>Recommend this Post

Sphere: Related Content