South Africa. According to
Countryaah.com, South Africa's corruption-accused President
Jacob Zuma was pressed with growing demands for resignation,
even from his own party ANC (African National Congress).
When a distrust vote against Zuma was announced in
parliament in February, and the ANC threatened to trap him,
Parliament appointed Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa as
new president. The decision was welcomed in wide circles,
the Johannesburg Stock Exchange went up and the currency
rand reached the highest value in three years.
Ramaphosa promised to fight corruption and raised the
issue of transferring land from white landowners to black
South Africans. Parliament voted to allow this to happen
without compensation to the old owners. A committee was
commissioned to work on the issue.
Two former ministers dismissed by Zuma reappeared in
Ramaphosa's new government on heavy positions as finance
minister and minister of state enterprises. New Foreign
Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, daughter of ANC legends Walter and
Ramaphosa decided to rescind a decision from Zuma's time
that had weakened the evidence in corruption trials. It was
seen as a sign of the new president's willingness to deal
Jacob Zuma was indicted in April on 16 counts including
fraud, blackmail and money laundering from the time before
he became president. Prosecution had been filed as early as
2005 but has since been closed down. The trial was expected
to last for several months.
In April Winnie passed away Madikizela-Mandela, formerly
married to Nelson Mandela and anti-apartheid activist. She
was hailed within the ANC as a freedom hero but also accused
of crimes; among other things, she was convicted of
involvement in the murder of a teenage boy. About 40,000
people attended her funeral in Soweto.
In the north, protests erupted against a lack of jobs,
housing and health care, demanding the departure of a
corrupt politician. Ramaphosa interrupted a visit to London
to try to create calm since police used tear gas and rubber
bullets against protesters who set fire to cars and looted
The protests spread to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban
and several cities where thousands of union members rejected
the government's proposed minimum wage. They supported the
introduction of the minimum wage but described the proposed
20 rand (about SEK 14) per hour as starvation pay and
demanded monthly salary of 12,500 rand (about SEK 8,750),
that is, three times as much.
In August, Ramaphosa announced the ANC's plan to change
the constitution so that land could be transferred without
compensation. Voluntary sales and purchases had been slow,
and the ANC was pressured by the radical opposition party
EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) to hasten the
The issue was politically sensitive, and the white
farmers' organization thought that seizing land without
compensation would have disastrous consequences. They
referred, among other things, to what happened in Zimbabwe
and emphasized that investors from outside are turning away
from countries that do not protect ownership.
In September, it became clear that South Africa's economy
was declining for the first time since the financial crisis
in 2009. GDP fell during the second quarter of the year, a
hard blow to Ramaphosa's plan to boost the economy to help
reduce unemployment by about 27%. In agriculture, production
had fallen by almost a third in the second quarter.
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene resigned in October after
it was discovered that he had met with the
corruption-accused Gupta family. Nene was succeeded by
former central bank governor Tito Mboweni, which caused the
financial market to react positively. Three Gupta stone-rich
brothers have been accused of using their friendship with
President Zuma to seize state funds and influence the
appointment of ministers.
President Ramaphosa wrote in November under the National
Minimum Wage Act. The level will be 20 rand per hour, which
corresponds to 3,500 rand per month, approximately SEK
Statistics during the year showed that the number of
murders in the country increased by more than 7% in one
year, the largest increase since the abolition of the
apartheid regime. The figures also showed an increase in
sexual offenses, most rapes.