South Africa is a democratic but one-party state, with the African National Congress serving as the ruling party. Other parties, like as the Democratic Alliance, rule provinces and municipalities, often in alliance with minor parties. Political parties play an important role in South African politics: without them there would be no competition between views on policy issues, and thus no way for voters to select the candidate who best represents their interests.
In South Africa, all parties are equal in terms of government support, and can win elections alone or in alliances. However, once in power, some parties may choose to work with others rather than allocating positions within the cabinet. This arrangement is called "co-operation", and only occurs when there are no votes available to either side individually.
The election of President Nelson Mandela in 1994 marked the end of white-minority rule and the beginning of democracy in South Africa. The ANC has been in power ever since, except for a short period during 1999-2004 when its leader, Thabo Mbeki, caused outrage among many South Africans by denying the link between tobacco farming and black-market tobacco production which resulted in several court cases.
All political parties in South Africa will tell you that they aim to represent every part of society, but only certain ones can actually form a government.
South Africa is a parliamentary representative democratic republic in which the President is chosen by parliament and serves as the head of both the government and the multi-party system. The president can be removed from office via impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors. The most recent impeachment trial was that of Jacob Zuma, who was ousted as president in February 2018.
Under the constitution, the executive power lies with the president, who can make decisions about appointing and removing ministers. The president can also call meetings of the cabinet and control expenditure. However, without parliamentary support he or she cannot pass laws or veto measures introduced into Parliament by its members.
The judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative branches. It consists of judges at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Appeals. There is no jury system in South Africa.
After being imprisoned on charges of treason related to his involvement in an anti-apartheid movement, Mandela was elected president in 1999. He died in 2013 after serving one term. His vice president, Joseph Muscat, became the new president.
1. Political Synopsis South Africa is a young, generally stable democracy ruled by the African National Congress (ANC). South Africa will have local government elections in 2021.
2. Historical Background The former British colony of South Africa has a long history of political stability. The country's first democratic election was held in 1994 and today is governed by the ANC. Before then, it was ruled by white minority governments since 1948. In May 1992, Nelson Mandela was released from prison where he had spent 18 years for opposing apartheid. Upon his release, he became president of the ANC and worked to unite all parts of the population against apartheid. He was elected president in 1999 and again in 2004.
3. Threats to Stability South Africa is vulnerable to changes that could affect its political stability. A decline in support for the ANC or significant corruption allegations against any high-level party member could cause public dissatisfaction and lead to unrest.
4. Factors Supporting Stability South Africa has a strong economy which has been growing consistently since 1995. This success story has much to do with the country's commitment to free market principles and financial deregulation during the era of apartheid. The ANC has also managed to balance the budget each year since coming to power.
The Republic of South Africa is a democratic republic with a parliamentary system. In addition, South Africans elect provincial legislatures to govern each of the country's nine provinces. The African National Congress (ANC) has dominated South African politics since the end of apartheid in 1994. The ANC continues to receive support from virtually all black South Africans, while white South Africans vote for other parties including the Democratic Alliance and the Freedom Front Plus.
South Africa's first free election was held in April 1994. The country was divided into eight separate electoral districts with their own elections. The results were announced within days of the polls closing. Nelson Mandela and the ANC won control of the government with an overwhelming majority of seats in Parliament.
Within weeks of taking office, Mandela and the ANC leaders began working on a new constitution that would establish democratic rule following decades of racial oppression under the previous government. The new charter was approved by voters in a national referendum held in March 1996. Some provisions of the constitution are still being challenged in court.
South Africa's second free election was held in February 1999. The ANC again won an overwhelming majority of votes and seats in Parliament. The party leader, President Mandela, did not run for a second term. Deputy President Thabo Mbeki became the president of the country at the age of 39 years.
In May 2004, voters went to the polls for a third time.