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Vol 62 No 1

Published 7th January 2021

South Africa

Challenging the statist quo

Ramaphosa must both placate unions and convince lenders he can reform the state, while fending off plots from inside his party

The fortunes of the ruling African National Congress, and Cyril Ramaphosa's own survival as party and South African president, are dependent on the outcome of municipal elections scheduled for mid-year and on a sustained turnaround in the economy, after a third-quarter rebound that coincided with the easing of pandemic-related restrictions. To survive politically Ramaphosa must curtail the spread of the new variant of Covid-19 so that it does not require further lockdowns and consequent impacts on the economy, which would provide heavy ammunition for his eager political opponents, former President Jacob Zuma, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule, and their supporters.

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