South Africa: Ramaphosa re-elected for a second term


Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected on Friday by the South African Parliament for a second five-year term as head of the country, the day after the highly contested legislative elections of May 29. During this election, Nelson Mandela’s party obtained only 40% of the votes cast, the lowest score ever achieved since the first multiracial elections organized by the country in 1994, shortly after the end of apartheid.

Out of a total of 400 seats in the National Assembly, the ANC obtained 159, followed by the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 21.80% of the vote (87 seats), the party newly created by Jacob Zuma, “uMkhonto weSizwe” (MK) with 14.59% (58 seats) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with 9.52% (39 seats).

The participation rate stood at 58.63%, down from 66% recorded during the previous election held in 2019.

Mr. Ramaphosa (71 years old) is expected to address many thorny issues, notably the revitalization of an economy which has been stuck in a spiral of slowdown for around ten years.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised downwards, in a new report, the country’s GDP growth forecast for 2024 to 0.9%, instead of 1.8% announced last October.

This lackluster growth in Africa’s most industrialized economy is exacerbating the unemployment crisis, leaving nearly 33% of the population jobless, a figure that rises to more than 45% among young people.

In addition, the Head of State will be called upon to strengthen the fight against corruption, a phenomenon which continues to erode public institutions, seriously damaging the country’s image, particularly with investors and foreign partners.

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