South Africa: faded dreams, difficult choices

South African President Jacob Zuma approaches the end of his political era
Pretoria, May 1, 2016: President Jacob Zuma (C) attends Worker’s Day celebrations; his term as ANC leader is nearly over and he cannot run for reelection (source: dpa)
  • The grand “black economic empowerment” project has largely failed
  • Structural problems, often due to poor governance, hamper economic growth
  • Severe inequality persists despite recklessly high social spending
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s famous vision of post-apartheid South Africa as a “rainbow nation” at peace with itself remains a dream

South Africa’s democratic transition once made it a shining example for the African continent. But more than two decades after the advent of democracy, and despite a mature and diversified economy, South Africa’s deeply divided, multiracial society is mired in crisis.

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