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South Africa After the ANC: Part II

James Hamill Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on the implications of the African National Congress’ decline for South Africa’s political landscape. Part I examined the factors contributing to the ANC’s decline. Part II examines the prospects for the opposition Democratic Alliance to become an alternative governing party.

The African National Congress (ANC) is trapped in a systemic crisis from which it cannot extricate itself. Consequently, the wellbeing of South African democracy requires a shift from the current one-party dominant system to a more competitive multiparty system. One route to this outcome is through the fragmentation of the ANC, whose current fractious and unstable condition virtually guarantees dysfunctional government. However, progress to a more pluralist order may also be accelerated by a simultaneous development, namely the ability of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the official opposition, to position itself as a credible alternative governing party. ...

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