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Country Profile South Africa

Basic information about the economic, social and political situation in South Africa

Our country profile summarises key data on history, politics, economy and society of the Republic of South Africa. It also presents basic information that will help you in getting an initial overview of the economic, social and political situation in South Africa. Graphical elements illustrate the listed information.

COVID-19 Imagefilm KAS South Africa: Our institution, our work

A short film presenting our institution and our work in South Africa.

FW de Klerk Foundation / Matthew Willman

FW de Klerk: Statesman, Noble Peace Prize Winner, Visionary

Obituary on the Death of FW de Klerk (South African President 1989-1994, Deputy President 1994-1996)

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation mourns the death of Frederik Willem de Klerk, who passed away on 11 November 2021 at his home in Cape Town, South Africa, surrounded by his closest family members.

Sibulele Mabusela / Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.

Lokalwahlen in Südafrika 2021

ANC verliert erstmals absolute Mehrheit – Kleine Parteien legen zu

Am 1. November fanden in Südafrika landesweit Lokalwahlen statt. Angesichts der Corona-Pandemie wurden zuvor deutlich weniger öffentliche Wahlkampfveranstaltungen durchgeführt. Die Wählermobilisierung wurde dadurch negativ beeinflusst. Doch ausschlaggebend für die historisch niedrige Wahlbeteiligung dürfte der Unmut über die Regierungspartei African National Congress (ANC) sein, die durch Korruption und Misswirtschaft fortwährend negative Schlagzeilen produziert. Das Gros der Bevölkerung glaubt nicht an die Reformversprechen des Präsidenten Cyril Ramaphosa (ANC) und blieb den Wahlen fern. Die größten Oppositionsparteien Democratic Alliance (DA) und Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) lieferten indes einen farblosen Wahlkampf ab und konnten nicht überzeugen. Kleinere Parteien, wie die Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Freedom Front Plus (FF+) oder Patriotic Alliance (PA), legten zu. Größter Lichtblick der Wahlen ist allerdings die neugründete Mitte-Rechts-Partei ActionSA, die den Wählern versprach, man werde mit allen Parteien koalieren können – mit Ausnahme des ANC. Auch wenn der ANC in den meisten Gemeinden die Mehrheit stellt, bestätigen die Wahlen den langfristigen, wenn auch langsamen Abwärtstrend der ehemaligen Befreiungsorganisation. Statt ANC-Dominanz gehören Koalitionsregierungen zunehmend zur politischen Realität im Lande.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

A Religiously Motivated Electorate in South Africa?

Religion has the potential to influence socio-political and economic processes. This paper explores the relationship between religion and politics in South Africa.

Elections continue to have purchasing power within the discourses of democracy and good governance in Africa, despite ample critique regarding their limitation of actually being a good measure of democracy (Diamond 2008; Elklit 1999; Karl 1995, 2000; Lindberg 2003; Ninsin 2006). A key feature of the literature on elections in Africa is a concern with the role that ethnicity plays. In particular, the literature presents ethnicity, along with growing authoritarianism, as the hurdle to good and fair elections, as well as violence-free electoral processes. There is, however, very little about religion’s role in elections, despite the generally accepted thesis of religiosity being regarded as central to the way of life of African people.

GovernmentZA / GCIS / flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0 /

China in Africa: Wielding Influence in the Age of Coronavirus

How the Chinese Communist Party Shapes Narratives and Builds Influence in Africa

The new study “Wielding Influence in the Age of Coronavirus” analyses China’s response to the Coronavirus in Africa.

A Judiciary under Siege:

Reflections on the Judicial Service Commission 2021 Judges’ Interviews

The paper traces the history of relations between the judiciary and other arms of government from the Mandela era in 1994 through to the presidential terms of Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. Focus then shifts to the themes emerging in the interviews. These themes are reflective of the challenges that the judiciary has experienced in recent times.

Pixabay / Sharonang

South Africa's Role in International Development Policy

Strong ambitions but limited scope for an African regional power

With its "Monitor Development Policy" series, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation focuses on the role of non-traditional donors in development cooperation. This time we take a look at South Africa, which cannot be considered a classic donor country due to limited possibilities, but which is committed to cooperation in line with its principles, especially at the multilateral level.

Assessing Effectiveness of Questions for Executive Reply

Questions for Written Reply is an oversight tool that allows MPs to submit written questions to Members of the Executive, seeking information that is usually not readily available elsewhere, to which they must receive a corresponding reply. This tool is widely used, particularly by opposition MPs, but there are shortcomings in its implementation. The focal point of this paper is that many Ministers do not meet the 10-day reply deadline, sometimes answering months later, even though some questions are urgent in nature.

25 years of the South African Constitution

Reflections and Realisations

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the South African Constitution. This paper details how the Constitution serves as a framework towards a peaceful and just society for all. The aim here is not to be triumphal in commemoration, nor simply be conservative in observation. Instead, the paper affirms that the Constitution is only valid and powerful when its ideals are practiced. It looks at how the guiding values and principles of the Constitution are used and abused. Herein language matters. It is our use of language that offers the clearest measure of Constitutionalism. It is through language that we put ideals into motion. It is also through language that our value system is repudiated, and our Constitutional order is impaired.